If you’re a colon cancer survivor, incorporating navy beans into your diet could be a game-changer for your health. A recent clinical trial conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed that adding just a cup of navy beans to your daily meals can have a positive impact on your gut microbiome, potentially preventing future cancers and improving treatment outcomes.
Understanding the Benefits
“Observing a shift in microbiome diversity with diet intervention alone is rare, and this study underscores the ability of a readily available prebiotic food to bring about such changes,” says researcher Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Navy beans, small and white in appearance, are packed with gut-supporting fibers, amino acids, and essential nutrients that promote the flourishing of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. The study found that colon cancer patients who included navy beans in their regular diet for eight weeks experienced significant changes in their gut microbiome. This shift included an increase in beneficial bacteria, which plays a crucial role in warding off harmful bacteria.
The Link to Colon Cancer
“Over the course of eight weeks, there was an improvement in participants’ gut health, marked by an increase in beneficial bacteria, which wards off the harmful bacteria,” Daniel-MacDougall added in a cancer center news release.
Colon cancer survivors often face challenges related to obesity, poor diet, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems, which can disrupt the normal microbial balance in their bodies. These imbalances may lead to inflammation, negatively impacting the success of treatment and overall survival. The study specifically followed 48 obese individuals with a history of cancer-related bowel problems, including those diagnosed with colon cancer or having high-risk precancerous polyps.
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How to Incorporate Navy Beans into Your Diet
Participants in the study were randomly assigned to eat either their regular diet or add a daily cup of cooked white navy beans. “The beans did not appear to induce gut inflammation or seriously impact bowel habits, which is crucial for… survivors and patients,” Daniel-MacDougall says.
Here’s how to incorporate them into your diet:
Add a cup of cooked white navy beans to your regular meals each day. This simple addition can make a significant difference in your gut health.
Variety of Dishes
Incorporate navy beans into a variety of dishes, such as soups, salads, stews, or even as a side dish. The versatility of navy beans makes