Fiber could be key to preventing colon cancer

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Beans are inexpensive and can be pretty tasty, so how such a simple ingredient can have a huge impact on your health?

Adding some beans to your soup, salad or rice is a step towards protecting yourself from colon cancer.

The next time you head to the grocery store, think of this. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month -- and here's a bit of research from an east African country we bet you're unaware of.

"In a big country called Uganda there used to literally be no cases of colon cancer, and they ate so much fiber and beans and lentils and plants," says Dr. Joel Kahn, America's Holistic Heart Doctor.

What's so good about fiber?

Dr. Kahn explains it's like a broom for your body, sweeping away our sinful food choices.

"Our food sticks in our colon many days longer than it probably should be and that processes leading the lining of the colon to get irrigated and then something grows," he explains. 

Your colon, or large intestine, is about 6 feet long. It's in charge of the final stage of digestion. Drinking water helps it do its job and so does eating the right foods.

"Just look around what's on your plate. If there's not a slice of cucumber, if there's not an apple in your lunchbox -- if there's not berries on your oatmeal that's a double winner there because it's two kinds of fiber -- you know you need to do more," Dr. Kahn says.

When it comes to screening for colon cancer, depending on your family history, 50 is usually the age where you should talk to your doctor about it.