Slash your risk of colorectal cancer with these culinary heroes
(NaturalHealth365) Garlic and onions are a big deal – financially and healthwise. For example, did you know that in the U.S., about 24,000 acres are used to grow garlic each year, producing around 400 million pounds? Pretty impressive, right? Well, there’s more to tell you about how these foods can help to protect your health.
No doubt, in the kitchen, onions, garlic, and other allium vegetables are popular additions to any dish worldwide – mainly due to their health benefits. For example, a new study found that consuming garlic is linked to a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer – cancer of the rectum or colon, which is located at the lower end of the digestive tract – is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
Italian study reveals garlic’s anticancer power
Eating garlic has been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer and intestinal adenoma. The above-referenced study in Italy examined 100 cases of colorectal cancer, 100 cases of intestinal adenoma, and 100 healthy individuals. The researchers used dietary surveys and blood DNA analysis to explore the relationship between garlic consumption, colorectal cancer risk, and gut bacteria.
The results showed that medium/high garlic consumption was associated with a significantly reduced colorectal cancer risk. Additionally, differences in blood bacterial composition were observed based on garlic consumption, supporting the idea of a diet-microbiota connection in the prevention of colorectal cancer.
Eating more garlic and onions equals more protection from “dis-ease”
Another study came to similar conclusions and found that consuming high amounts of garlic, onions, and other allium vegetables resulted in a 79% lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to those who only consumed small amounts of these veggies. Researchers pointed out that more is better.
The study included 833 patients who had colorectal cancer as well as 833 healthy controls who were matched by area of residence, sex, and age. In general, the findings show that one of the best ways to prevent colorectal cancer is via lifestyle interventions, and dietary interventions prove to be quite effective.
Of course, additional lifestyle interventions will require more in-depth explorations in the future, according to researchers. But, if you’ve been reading NaturalHealth365 for some time now, you know we talk a lot about how to improve the immune system to minimize the risk of any chronic disease.
Bitter, more pungent onions offer the greatest benefits
While garlic, onions, and other allium vegetables offer cancer-prevention benefits, onions are particularly beneficial and have been studied in the past because of their high amount of phenolic content and flavonoids. Onions are one of the best sources of flavonoids – which have been associated with a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
While many people tend to reach for the milder onions, such as Vidalia onions, studies show that the most pungent, bitter onions offer the most significant benefits.
To be clear: when it comes to protection against colorectal cancer, yellow onion extracts from Western Yellow onions offer the most protection, and shallots contain far more phenolic content than mild onions like Vidalia onions.
Once again, studies back up the idea that many cancer cases can be prevented with a proper (nutrient-dense) diet. And, while garlic and onions can offer protection against colorectal cancer, it’s essential to eat a well-rounded (organic) diet – which includes a minimum of 5 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Antioxidants and phytochemicals found in plant-based foods will not only protect against cancer, but also heart disease and other degenerative conditions. Never forget: the key factor to preventing any disease and improving quality of life is found in making simple improvements to your diet.
Don’t stress out: Just cut back on eating simple (processed) sugars, eat more veggies, exercise, and reduce the stress in your life. It’s an intelligent recipe for success.
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