Men who eat a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils can cut their risk of bowel cancer by more than a fifth, a study has found.
Women were also included in the research but no link between eating lots of plant foods and lower cancer risk was uncovered, which the scientists put down to men having an overall higher risk of the illness.
Men who eat a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils can cut their risk of bowel cancer by more than a fifth, a study has found (file image).
Researcher Jihye Kim, from Kyung Hee University, South Korea, said: 'Colorectal (bowel) cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and the risk of developing colorectal cancer over a lifetime is one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women.
'We speculate that the antioxidants found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could contribute to lowering colorectal cancer risk by suppressing chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer.
'As men tend to have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, we propose that this could help explain why eating greater amounts of healthy plant-based foods was associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk in men but not women.'.
Dr Helen Croker, head of research interpretation at World Cancer Research Fund, said: 'We welcome this research which adds to our own evidence that eating vegetables, wholegrains and beans reduces the risk of developing bowel cancer.
'The research tried to compare 'healthy plant foods' and 'unhealthy plant foods' and found a link with bowel cancer in men