- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. Conversely, red meat and processed meats are linked to colorectal cancer, so limit your intake of these foods.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that women drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and men, no more than two.
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, speak with your health care provider about ways to quit. There are many free smoking cessation resources available, such as smoking-cessation.org.
- Stay active. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your daily routine.
- Manage your weight. Obesity and excess belly fat are significant risk factors for colorectal cancer. The best way to shed pounds or maintain a healthy weight is through proper diet and exercise.
Start decreasing your risk of colorectal cancer today. With a plan that includes timely screenings and healthy lifestyle choices, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, cancer-free colon.
Takis H. Panagiotakis, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic Health System gastroenterologist and hepatologist.
For more information, please go to www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org.
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