One of the main causes of colon cancer is the food we eat. Certain substances found in food are carcinogenic. Heterocyclic amines are one such compound found in meat, chicken and fish when cooked at high temperatures using methods such as barbecuing, roasting or grilling. Another carcinogen, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, is formed when food is cooked or smoked over an open flame. Avoiding or minimizing exposure to cancer-causing foods can help prevent or control colon cancer. It is necessary to have a good nutritious diet to prevent and fight colorectal cancer.
Diet for patients with colon cancer
Colon cancer affects the body’s ability to digest food and absorb the nutrients present. Over time, this can lead to severe malnutrition of the person. This will make the person feel weak and affect the person’s ability to tolerate colon cancer treatment. The diet for colorectal cancer patients must be able to ensure that the patient tolerates the treatment, prevents malnutrition and improves the patient’s quality of life. The colon cancer diet should be in accordance with the symptom and according to what the person is comfortable with.
- Add more caffeine and non-alcoholic drinks to the diet
- Avoid nuts, seeds, raw fruits and vegetables with skins as they are difficult to digest.
- Try to eat non-spicy or tasteless foods such as fried or boiled chicken, crackers, etc.
- If the patient experiences constipation, take plenty of fluids such as prune juice and a small amount of caffeinated drink and eat high fiber foods such as oatmeal, raw fruits and vegetables.
- If the patient has diarrhea, drink clear liquids and eat foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. Foods with strong spices and caffeine should be avoided.
- To avoid bloating, the patient should follow a diet without cruciferous foods such as broccoli, cabbage, egg; garlic, onion etc. Avoid foods containing fructose and sorbitol.
- Eat soft and creamy foods soaked in gravy or sauces that are easy to digest.
The patient has to constantly try new foods as the taste is constantly changing with different types of treatments. When the GI tract repairs and replaces lost tissues, food that was terrible one day can taste good after a few days.
Diet for Colon Cancer Survivors
In colon cancer survivors, food will take longer to digest and some food can interfere with bowel movements. The person may need to go to the toilet often, and if the person has had a colostomy, it will take several months for the bowel to return to normal. In such cases, the survivor will have to avoid certain food items. Some foods can cause gas in patients with colon cancer after treatment. The person will have to work out through trial and error which foods are appropriate and which are not. It is necessary to add more cancer-fighting foods to the diet.
- Use fruits such as apples, bananas, melons and berries
- Includes vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, asparagus
- Avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Avoid high-fat foods
- Avoid onions, cabbage and Brussels sprouts
- Eat low-calorie foods
- Eat more whole grains such as whole wheat bread, pasta, cereals, etc.
- Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Use olive oil or vegetable oil for cooking
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Diet for the treatment of colon cancer
Treatment of colon cancer causes many side effects in patients such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea etc. and makes the person nauseous. Patients should avoid certain foods when being treated for colon cancer.
- Limit consumption of foods high in saturated fat and sodium, such as fried foods, red meat, dairy products, packaged, processed, and canned foods
- To reduce the problem of nausea, eat small meals regularly at room temperature.
- If the patient experiences a change in taste as a result of chemotherapy, eat foods that are sour or sour, such as lemonade. Use spices, herbs and marinades to flavor food.
- Includes whole-wheat bread, peeled fruits, vegetables, and cereals.
- Cut back on sugar, alcohol and salt
- Add a moderate amount of meat and dairy products if the patient is comfortable with this.
- Add more protein to your diet in the form of milk, cheese or boiled eggs.
- Avoid high fiber foods if the patient has diarrhea as a side effect of treatment.
- If the patient does not feel like eating, replace the solid food with a liquid meal. Drink plenty of water, even if you can’t eat. Try juices, soups that will provide the patient with nutrients and calories.
Diet for Colon Cancer Prevention
Healthy eating can help prevent colon cancer to some extent. It is better to get food from plant sources and one should reduce fat intake from animal sources. The daily diet should include some of the items listed below to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Vegetables– These are one of the best ways to reduce the risk of colon cancer as they contain fiber, folic acid, vitamins etc. The main vegetables to include in the diet are leafy green vegetables; brassicas containing cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower sprouts. Allium group of vegetables such as garlic, onion, shallots etc. Soy products, tomatoes and carrots are also effective in the fight against cancer.
- Fruit – It is necessary to include five servings of fruit in your daily diet to prevent cancer. Consume whole fruits to benefit. The fruits that can prevent cancer include apples, cranberries, blueberries, grapes etc.
- Green tea– Studies have shown that drinking green tea regularly reduces the risk of colon cancer by 50%.
- Whole grains and legumes– Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin B. The phytic acid in these foods reduces the risk of colon cancer.
- Fish – Fish intake has protective effect on colon cancer. This is due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. Consume cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, cod etc.
- Olive oil– Animal fats and certain vegetable oils increase the risk of colon cancer. Monounsaturated fats in olive oil are protective when consumed in the right amounts. Phenols in virgin olive oil inhibit the formation of cancer cells in the colon.
- peanuts– The nutrients in peanuts have an anti-cancer effect.
- Turmeric– Turmeric contains curcumin with an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. It reduces the cell proliferation of mutated cells in the tumors.
- Ginger– Ginger has an active ingredient called gingerol, which inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells.
- Yogurt – Yogurt and other fermented dairy products have been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. The beneficial bacteria present in fermented foods protect colon cells from the effect of carcinogens.
It is necessary to consume a moderate amount of food that provides the right amount of calories to support a cancer-free life. It is necessary to add a moderate amount of exercise to the lifestyle to prevent colon cancer or any other cancer.
Diet for recovery from colon cancer
Diet plays an important role in colon cancer recovery. There are no specific foods to control or treat colon cancer, but it is necessary to have a diet that facilitates digestion and provides the person with the necessary nutrition to facilitate easy recovery. Foods that are unhealthy for normal people are actually useful for people recovering from colon cancer. The diet for colon cancer recovery should include:
- Food rich in calories
- Foods rich in protein such as cream, milk, cheese and eggs
- Low-fiber foods for easy digestion and to reduce diarrhea
- Food cooked in oil, margarine or butter
- Plenty of gravy and sauces
- Drink peppermint water to reduce flatulence
- Drink lots of fluids
Diet for colon cancer after surgery
During surgery for colon cancer, part of the colon will be removed and therefore the stool will not be firm. The patient may have diarrhea. The doctor may give you medicine to control diarrhea. However, you will need to supplement the nutrients through diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids when there is diarrhea.
- Eat foods rich in calories and protein after surgery to promote healing and fight infection. The diet should include meat, fish and eggs.
- To start, eat small frequent meals instead of 3 large meals. Avoid long breaks between meals.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
- After surgery, start eating a low-fiber diet, such as white pasta, bread, biscuits, cooked and peeled fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks if the person has diarrhea.
- Take peppermint water to reduce any wind and discomfort.
- Take juices without pulp or fiber.
- Use low-fat dairy products
- Includes tender and skinless chicken and turkey, fish and lean meats. Avoid fried foods that are high in fat.
Individual nutritional needs will vary from person to person. It is better to try different foods and find out which ones are suitable and comfortable for your gut and taste buds. You can contact a registered dietitian if you want to receive good nutritional advice for patients with colon cancer. It is necessary to be physically active and maintain a healthy weight once you have recovered from colon cancer. Take a diet that will prevent a recurrence of colon cancer.