If you ever needed an excuse to get more fibre in your diet, this could be it.
A study has found that eating a diet rich in whole grains everyday can help prevent colorectal cancer, the fourth deadliest cancer in the world.
The research was published in the Continuous Update Project, which is an initiative that gathers data on cancer prevention through nutrition and lifestyle and whose findings inform official guidelines and policies for cancer prevention.
Researchers analysed the health data of 29 million people, looking at weight, diet and lifestyle.
While determining that whole grains could help prevent colorectal cancer, they also found that eating red meat could increase the risk of the disease.
The study’s authors added that along with fibre-rich foods, dairy and vitamin C could also help ward of colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, yet this report demonstrates there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk,” report author Dr Edward L. Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, reports Medical News Today.
Colorectal cancer kills 700,000 people each year and that number is expected to rise by 60 per cent over the next 15 years.
“Many of the ways to help prevent colorectal cancer are important for overall health,” says Dr Giovannucci.
“Factors such as maintaining a lean body weight, proper exercise, limiting red and processed meat, and eating more whole grains and fibre would lower risk substantially. Moreover, limiting alcohol to at most two drinks per day and avoidance or cessation of smoking also lower risk.”
Colorectal cancer has a 90 per cent survival rate if diagnosed early, but that number drops to just 13 per cent if found late.
As well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, knowing the warning signs and symptoms are key to survival.
The Mayo Clinic says some of the most common symptoms include, blood in stool, change in bowel habits, constipation, narrow stools, or passing excessive amounts of gas.
You may also experience fatigue, abdominal discomfort or weight loss.