Digestive Defense: How Diet Plays a Role in Colorectal Cancer Prevention?

Diet For Colorectal Cancer
13 Mar 2024
9 mins
Table Of Content
Digestive Defense: How Diet Plays a Role in Colorectal Cancer Prevention?

    A healthy outside starts from the inside."- Robert Urich.


    Diet plays a major role not only in maintaining overall health but also in managing diseases and improving the efficacy of treatments. Colorectal health has become integral to patient-centric care, particularly in addressing the unique digestive issues associated with colorectal cancer. Today, we are going to explore various diets involved in colorectal cancer and its management strategies.


    Know About Colorectal Cancer And Its Prevalence


    Colorectal cancer is a condition in which the cancer cells start to grow and spread in the individual's colon or rectum (large intestine) region, which is involved in the absorption and excretion of the food we eat.


    It is the third common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The silence in the early stage and the lack of knowledge about the diet pave the way for the increased victim and death cases of colorectal cancer. 


    Importance Of Diet In Colorectal Cancer


    Colorectal cancer patients often struggle with eating due to symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal tract. While colorectal cancer treatment helps overcome these symptoms and improves the quality of life, the side effects that impact normal digestive processes may lead them to adopt restricted dietary choices even after the treatment.


    6 Diet For Colorectal Cancer


    1. Dietary fiber: 

    Eating food rich in high dietary fiber content can aid in lowering the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals. It helps to increase the bulk of the stool, dilute the fecal carcinogen, and minimize the time of food traveling through the intestine, thereby preventing or reducing the contact of the carcinogen with colorectal lines. 


    2. Dietary calcium:

    It is estimated that high consumption of calcium diets like yogurt, milk, and fortified foods can lower the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals. Calcium helps to stimulate differentiation, reduce proliferation, and induce apoptosis in the colorectal cancer cell.


    3. Whole grains: 

    It is estimated that consuming whole grains such as fiber-rich bran, nutrient-packed germs, and starchy endosperm can aid in reducing the colorectal cancer risk compared to refined grains. It will help provide nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals involved in regulating the cell signaling in colorectal cancer cell formation.


    4. Legumes: 

    Incorporating high-legume beans, peas, and lentils can help reduce patients' risk of colorectal cancer. It will help reduce the cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood, which contribute to the increase in risk.


    5. Fish:

    Eating fish can aid in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish possess anticancer properties that protect the colon and rectum. Additionally, these have anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent the formation of polyps that may later develop into cancer.


    6. Nuts:

    It is recommended to eat nuts regularly to reduce the risk and recurrence of colorectal cancer. Nuts contain high quantities of gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that helps decrease cancer cell growth in the colorectal region.


    6 Diet Tips To Follow After Treatment


    Following a proper diet is important and aids in the fast recovery after cancer treatment. Here are some of the diet tips that we need to follow after the colorectal cancer treatment:


    • Eating a small portion of meals after the surgery or treatment is recommended.
    • Eat a high-protein diet in the meals/ snacks for fast recovery.
    • Drinking liquid calories like milk, juice, or soup is advised to get appropriate nutrition after colorectal surgery.
    • Gradually increasing the fiber content in your diet will help you overcome the adverse effects of the treatment.
    • Eat a little and frequent meal every 1-2 hours.
    • It is recommended to eat at least a high-protein snack in between meals.


    Foods To Avoid For Colorectal Cancer


    • Red and processed meat: Eating excess red and processed meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals. The chemicals in red and processed meat can induce the growth of cancer in the colorectal region. Hence, it is recommended to avoid the red and processed for colorectal cancer.
    • Oily and junk food: Eating oily and junk foods can worsen the symptoms of colorectal cancer in patients. It is estimated that a high intake of saturated fat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer in patients.
    • Spicy foods:  Eating excessive spicy food can damage the colonic mucosa, which can increase the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals. It is recommended to completely avoid spicy food during and after colorectal cancer and its treatment.
    • Refined starch and sugar:  It is recommended to avoid refined starch and sugar, which can increase the risk of colorectal cancer in patients. These can also increase the possibility of diabetes, which in turn raises the risk of colorectal cancer. Hence, try to eat some non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower. 


    Wrap It Up!


    Diet is a powerful tool in the battle of colorectal cancer. We need to use it wisely to lower the risk of colorectal cancer and improve the outcomes of its treatment. It is recommended to engage with your doctor and nutritionist to get a tailored diet plan during and after colorectal cancer and its treatments. Your gut needs special attention to prevent and protect it from the colorectal enemies affecting your digestive health. Let's prioritize our gut health through diet.


    Diet is the essential key to all successful healing- Joseph Raynaud Raymond.

    Written by
    Ishwarya RMedical Content Writer
    AboutIshwary R is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her PG from the University of Madras, Chennai. She did her final year project in CSIR-CLRI, Adyar, entitled Studies on production of Biosurfactant by bacillus subtilis using Leather industry bioproduct. She did her offline internship and learned clinical Laboratory skills in Billroth hospital and her online internship in SS Healthcare. She strengthened her skills in research, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content, blogs, and scientific articles.
    Tags :Diet for Colorectal CancerFoods To EatColorectal treatmentColorectal cancer