Americans tend to be squeamish when it comes to talking about colon cancer. But it’s important to know the facts. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. It affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. You may also be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke, or have a family history of colorectal cancer.
The good news is that the American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that half of all colon cancers could be prevented by changes in lifestyle.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- If you drink alcohol, keep your intake to no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get plenty of physical activity.
- Eat a healthy diet–avoid processed meats and limit red meat to no more than 18 ounces (cooked) a week; eat more fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and oils.
The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer – that’s why it’s so important to get screened. If you’re due for a screening, contact your doctor today.
Spicy Coconut Carrot Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root (or substitute bottled grated ginger)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- For garnish: fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or cilantro; fresh pesto; toasted pumpkin seeds
- Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft.
- Add the broth, carrots, and ginger. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are tender when poked, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Let cool about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Puree in batches in a blender.
- Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Heat to a simmer.
- Serve garnished with chopped herbs, a dollop of pesto, and/or a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.
Sharon Lehrman, MPH, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian with a private practice and corporate wellness business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read health-related articles, subscribe to her free monthly nutrition newsletter, or contact her at www.nutritionhealthandwellness.com.
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