Gutbliss - Dr. Robynne Chutkan


Prevent Colon Cancer by Eating Beans!

Rich in dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as antioxidants, beans are nutrient powerhouses and incredibly beneficial for cultivating disease-fighting gut bacteria. Why? Because they are one of the only food groups that contain inulin, a prebiotic food that feeds “good” gut bacteria, which are closely linked to preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer – the two leading causes of death in U.S. adults. Without enough dietary prebiotics from sources such as beans and fruit, disease-preventing gut bacteria associated with living a long, healthy life would decrease significantly.

In this simple, yet meaningful 8-week study, researchers randomly assigned 55 men and women over 30 years of age who were at a high risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) – they had a history of bowel legions, were CRC survivors, or were at a high risk of precancerous polyps – to two groups. The control group consumed their regular diet, while the intervention group added 1 cup of organic pressure-cooked, canned navy beans daily to their regular diet. After the 8 weeks, positive microbial changes that are closely linked to a healthy, disease-preventing gut microbiome were observed, including an increase in beneficial gut bacteria species Faecalibacterium, Eubacterium, and Bifidobacterium, and a decrease in disease-causing (or pathogenic) bacteria. The researchers who conducted the study concluded that navy beans (and most likely beans in general) may play a role in preventing and treating CRC in cancer survivors and high-risk populations.

Even for those individuals who aren’t at high risk for CRC or other cancers, this study highlights an important concept we’ve discussed before at Gutbliss (check out What you’re not eating could be making you sick): adding healthy foods into your diet usually has a bigger impact on your health journey than simply excluding less healthy ones. If you have a difficult time digesting beans (as in lots of gas and bloating), read this article on the differences between good and bad gas and learn how to prepare and cook beans and other “good” gas-producing foods that will encourage the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and help protect you from disease.

share this story:

Still hungry? Here’s more


Dr Robynne Chutkan
Dr. Chutkan's Newsletter
Read the latest news and research from Dr. Chutkan’s blog. From the most up to date science on the microbiome, to the best in gut-derived wellness – we are your complete guide to gut health! Sign-up now and receive free access to our 7-Day Microbiome Reboot Course.