One of the oldest healing foods around is the unmistakable root vegetable, ginger. A prized asset throughout many ancient systems of medicine (like Chinese medicine), ginger has long been linked to health benefits. This new one is very exciting: ginger supplements may help prevent colon cancer.
Cancer prevention is the name of the game, of course. In the latest study, ginger supplements lowered colon inflammation, suggesting that this supplement may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent. It was published in “Cancer Prevention Research.”
Researchers enrolled 30 patients and randomly assigned them to two grams of ginger root supplements per day or placebo for a month. After 28 days, they measured levels of colon inflammation and found statistically significant reductions in most of these inflammation markers in those who took ginger.
In old studies, inflammation has been implicated as a precursor to colon cancer. That said, a separate trial would be needed to see exactly how ginger root affects risk for colon cancer, one of the most fatal cancers.
The researchers believe that interest in this finding, and others in the natural medicine world, will only increase as time goes on. That is because people are increasingly looking for ways to prevent cancer that are non-toxic, and ways to improve quality of life that are not expensive.
Here are some other ways you could reduce your risk for colon cancer. Get regular screenings starting in your 40s. There is a variety of tests available; just work out which might be best for you with your doctor.
Also, you can modify your lifestyle to help prevent colon cancer. Some tips:
— Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They contain nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that help shield you from cancer.
— Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. Aim for no more than a drink a day for women, and two a day for men.
— If you smoke, quit. Lung cancer is far from the only cancer you put yourself at risk for with this habit.
— Exercise as often as you can. Optimally, get a half hour every day.
— Try to keep a healthy weight. Eating right and exercising will certainly help. If you need to shed pounds, ask a doctor or physiotherapist about ways to do so. Increase exercise and reduce caloric intake.