Beans, lentils, peas and other foods high in folate
If colon cancer runs in your family, pile your plate high with these foods. Along with fibre, they also contain vast stores of folate, a B vitamin that protects cell DNA from damage. According to a study from Harvard University, of nearly 89,000 women studied those with a family history of colon cancer who consumed more than 400 mcg of folate each day lowered their risk by more than 52 per cent compared to women who consumed just 200 mcg a day. You can get about 100 to 150 mcg just by eating a cup of chickpeas or cooked spinach. A medium orange contains about 50 mcg.
Of course, it pays to get more folate even if you don’t have a family history of colon cancer. Several studies show it could cut your risk by 40 percent.
Aim for: 400 mcg of folate daily. You may be getting that much already if you take a multivitamin each day or start your morning with orange juice and a fortified cereal. But you can also get there by eating at least 5 servings of whole grains each day along with 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables. At least one of those servings should be dark leafy greens or legumes, such as kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans).
Helpful hint: Broccoli does two jobs as a cancer fighter. It contains the antitumour compounds found in cruciferous vegetables as well as a fair amount of folate.