Here is yet another reason to consider “going vegan” if you haven’t done so already. There has been another study conducted with results that support the idea that vegetarian and/or near-vegetarian diets actually contribute to the prevention of colon cancer. This means that there is now even more evidence to prove that a vegetarian diet can lower the risk of cancer, only this time around, it is colon cancer.
Though it is still not completely clear whether it is the consumption of more fruits and veggies or the cutting out of meats that is making the difference, researchers claim that it’s definitely more strong evidence favoring a plant-based diet.
An employee of California’s Loma Linda University, Dr. Michael Orlich and colleagues observed 77,695 men and women of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith who have participated in a long-term health and diet study. Seventh-Day Adventist followers are encouraged to have healthy diets and to avoid smoking tobacco as well as other unhealthy habits. A lot of them are vegans or vegetarians, but some of them do eat fish and some of them eat certain meats like lamb or poultry.
Over a period of seven years, the vegetarians and vegans showed around a 22% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer, as reported by Dr. Orlich’s team in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine.
Those who ate fish but no other meats showed the lowest overall risk of developing colon cancer at 43% lower than the meat-eaters. Dr. Orlich’s team believes that the Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish may be the reason. Vegetarian sources of these nutrients include flaxseed oil and walnuts.
The study’s findings fit right in with other studies showing that plant-based diets can also reduce risks of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and even early death.
Vegetarian diets are rich in healthy, cancer-fighting nutrients called phytochemicals. These phytochemicals work like antioxidants and immune boosters, according to a registered dietician, Hillary Sachs of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute.
Also, vegetarian diets are high in fiber, which helps support regularity when it comes to bowel movements. They are also devoid of red meats which is a factor associated with the incidence of colorectal cancer.
After lung cancer, colorectal cancer is actually the 2nd leading killer cancer in the U.S. Each year, it kills nearly 50,000 Americans and around 133,000 are diagnosed with it.
The results of the study indicate yet another really good reason to follow a healthy and well-balanced diet, and to eat whole foods and cut out (or down) on processed food. When it comes to general good health, a diet good for your colorectal health is the same diet that’s good for your heart, brain and waistline.
Our federal government essentially recommends eating a plant-based diet, and the most recent advice for dietary guidelines specifies that people should all go easy on red meat and consume more fruits and veggies. These types of diets not only lower your risk of developing cancer, they also lower your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.