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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
A recently released meta-analysis from researchers at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research shows that fruit and vegetable consumption may affect colorectal cancer and, more interestingly, that different fruits and vegetables may affect different parts of the colon.
The findings were published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Diabetic Association.
Data for the study included dietary information pertaining to almost 2,000 people. Approximately half of the participants had a confirmed colorectal cancer diagnosis, while the other half had no history with the disease.
The researchers found that a higher intake of brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) was associated with a lower risk of proximal colon cancer. Additionally, higher levels of fruit and vegetable intake were linked with lower risk of distal colon cancer, with dark yellow vegetables and apples being the most preventative.
However, consumption of fruit juice was actually associated with an increased risk for rectal cancer.
This is not the first study linking fruits and vegetables with reduced colorectal risk but the researchers warn that more research is necessary in order to determine the exact effect that diet has on colorectal cancer.
If you think you aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, consider starting small. Add some fruit to your morning cereal or yogurt. Take the side salad instead of the fries at lunch. Eventually you’ll build the habit of including these important nutrients in your diet.
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