March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. About 1 in 25 people in the United States will develop colon or rectal cancer at some point during their lifetime. If you are over the age of 45, getting screened regularly can prevent colorectal cancer but there are other lifestyle habits that may reduce your risk.
The American Cancer Society recommends the following to lower your risk of colorectal cancer:
Studies have also shown that a calcium rich diet can make it less likely to have colon growths and colorectal cancer. Low and non-fat dairy products included in your diet may help reduce your risk. Whole grains and beans, due to their fiber content, B vitamins and phytochemicals and eating fatty fish such as salmon with omega-3 fatty acids can help slow the growth of cancer cells.
Studies show that red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and processed meats such has hotdogs, bacon and luncheon meats may raise your risk of developing colorectal cancer. It is recommended that less than 18 ounces of red meat be eaten weekly.
Try this fiber packed recipe full of antioxidants for cancer prevention:
Mediterranean Bean Salad
15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (do not peel)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peppadew peppers, rough chopped
1/2 cup black olives, halved
1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives, halved
1 cup assorted colorful bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes
10 large basil leaves, shredded
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the dressing ingredients together and taste to adjust any of them. Add more vinegar if you want a tangier flavor.
Put the beans in a large salad bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with a generous amount the dressing.
The salad will keep, well covered, for several days in the refrigerator.
Tracey Shaffer is a registered dietitian and certified health coach and owner of KC Nutrition Coach in Eastern Jackson County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit her website at kcnutritioncoach.com.