How the Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a common condition that primarily affects older men and women. This form of cancer is found in the colon or rectum. Researchers have determined that anyone with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Additional causes for colorectal cancer include consuming a diet that is high in red meat, fat and processed meats. If you eat a diet that is low in fiber, then you are also more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

Today, experts are recommending the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of colorectal cancer. This type of diet is consumed in Greece, France and Italy. If you are living on a Mediterranean diet plan, then you will consume these foods and beverages:

• Fish
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Unrefined cereals
• Legumes
• Olive oil
• Yogurt
• Cheese
• Wine

The Mediterranean Diet Includes Seafood Instead of Red Meat

The individuals who follow the Mediterranean diet seldom consume foods that contain refined sugar, eggs or processed meats. To get enough protein, you should eat high levels of seafood or poultry rather than red meat. Most of the fat in a Mediterranean diet comes from high-quality olive oil, but it is considered a healthy plant-based fat. This type of diet is also high in natural fiber, helping to reduce intestinal distress from problems such as constipation. A medical study in 2016 revealed that consuming a Mediterranean diet could reduce your chances of developing colorectal cancer by 6 percent.

A Mediterranean Diet Is Easier to Digest

Colorectal cancer typically develops from lesions or polyps in the intestinal tract. When you consume red meat, it is difficult for your body to digest this food, and red meat moves slowly through your intestinal tract, causing inflammation. Over many years, this inflammation can cause the polyps that eventually become cancerous. Alternatively, with the Mediterranean diet, the foods are digested quickly to move faster through the digestive tract, preventing inflammation.

Olive Oil Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

At the same time, if you are consuming olive oil, then your body is able to digest foods quickly. Olive oil may also have anti-inflammatory properties to protect your body from cancer cells. If you add olive oil to certain foods such as tomatoes or dark leafy greens, then the substance helps you to absorb the antioxidant nutrients in these foods. Antioxidants also fight against cancer cells by reducing the free radicals in your body. By consuming a Mediterranean diet, you can protect your body from several diseases, including colorectal cancer.