What’s really behind your bathroom troubles?
When it comes to our digestive system, we like to focus on the stomach. But the stomach is only the beginning of the digestive system. An often-overlooked part of the digestive system is the colon, the final part of the process.
But the colon has a key role. Before food particles can completely exit our bodies, the colon absorbs any additional nutrients and then removes the waste.
Because everything we consume passes through the colon, it’s important to eat foods that can protect it and keep it healthy. Those good, regular bowel movements are a way of cleaning out the colon, along with removing waste. If we eat foods that keep us “backed up” or promote waste just to linger inside, it can make us sick. If you’re running to the bathroom because of diarrhea, your digestive system, including your colon, is taking a beating.
A clean, healthy colon is a good thing for our health.
So, if you want to maintain a healthy digestive system and avoid getting backed up, you have to be mindful of the colon. Here are 8 key foods you should be eating for the sake of your colon.
Foods for a Healthy Colon
Mangoes: Although seasonal, this tropical fruit is great for your colon. Mangoes have a high fiber – one mango has about 5 grams of fiber – and water content. Both of these can help promote regularity as well as relieve constipation. Fiber has also been noted to protect against inflammation in the colon, which can be an early warning sign of colon cancer.
Mangoes can be enjoyed on their own or in a smoothie, but be mindful of their natural sugar content, especially if you are diabetic.
Quinoa: Quinoa should be a staple of any diet, not just for a healthy colon. It’s packed with protein, low in fat, and high in antioxidants. Best of all, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, so it’s safe for just about anyone to enjoy.
Quinoa offers nutrients like iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber – all essential to overall good health. These nutrients also work to improve digestion and benefit the colon. Quinoa can help keep you regular and healthy.
Ginger: If you’ve ever felt nauseous or had stomach troubles, you probably reached for some ginger to settle your stomach. Ginger can help out the digestive system in other ways by reducing inflammation in the colon.
A study published in Cancer Prevention Research noted that inflammation in the colon was an early sign of colon cancer. Researchers administered ginger to broccoli for healthy colon participants and noticed a dramatic decrease in inflammation in their colon within a month.
Broccoli: A superfood in its own right, broccoli is another excellent food to keep your colon healthy. Broccoli provides high doses of vitamin C – beyond the recommended daily intake – as well as fiber. Broccoli also contains vitamins K, E, and A, as well as folate, which is all essential for proper digestion.
Raspberries: A great source of fiber, raspberries can offer 8 grams per cup, making it one of the best ways to ensure proper digestion. Simply enjoy them as a raw snack as a sweet way to make your colon happy.
Lentils and Beans: Beans and lentils are easy foods to add to a daily diet. When consumed regularly, they have a number of health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, decreasing blood sugar levels, and increasing healthy gut bacteria. By increasing the good bacteria in the gut, the digestive system can work at optimal performance.
Studies have shown that beans and lentils benefit gut health by improving bowel function and slowing the rate that the stomach empties. This can help with digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Yogurt: Also able to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria, yogurt can support overall gastrointestinal health. Dairy is also packed with calcium, which has been found to lower the risk of colon-related diseases. Try plain yogurt with a drop of honey as an afternoon snack. But be sure to stay away from the sweetened fruit yogurts. They may be delicious, but they are packed with sugar.
Dark Vegetables: Many dark-colored vegetables are rich in fiber content, which can help keep the colon healthy. Artichokes, in particular, have an incredible 10 grams of fiber in each piece. Try to include as many dark vegetables into a daily diet to reap the rewards of a healthy colon.
Healthy Tips to Keep Your Colon Healthy
Eat Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Colon cancer typically affects older adults, though it can happen at any age. By consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, you can reduce inflammation, which has been found to lower the risk of cancer. A Vanderbilt University study found that women who ate three servings of fish per week showed a 33 percent reduction in risk for some colon polyps, which could develop into cancer. Fresh fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids along with nuts, flax seeds, spinach, and vegetable oils.
Limit Red Meat and Processed Foods
Many studies have linked an increased risk of colon cancer with red meat and processed foods. This may be due to these types of foods being full of saturated fat. Along with unhealthy fat that can be found in the meat, it is often the way it is prepared that can cause harm to the colon. When red meat is cooked at high temperatures, often on a barbeque, it has been suggested that it produces carcinogens that are associated with cancer.
Fill Your Plate with Fruits, Vegetables .and Whole Grains
By eating a healthy diet, you can help to ensure a healthy colon. A diet focused on fruits, vegetables and whole grains has been found to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Also, obesity’s association with cancer can be lowered by following a healthy diet, which can keep excess pounds away and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Drink Enough Water
Most people don’t drink enough water, but this is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body healthy. When you are not properly hydrated, toxins can build up in the body and cause major health problems. By drinking eight or more glasses of water a day, you can help to move toxins and excrement through your colon more quickly. By keeping track of how much water you are drinking throughout the day, you can ensure you are getting enough to ensure a healthy colon.
Eat Lots of Fiber
Experts recommend getting at least 30 grams of fiber every day to ensure good digestion. These servings should come from about five servings of fruits and vegetables and three small servings of whole grains. Oatmeal, lentils, raspberries, and broccoli are just some of the foods that contain healthy doses of fiber.
Regular exercise can encourage more consistent bowel movements. The increase in blood flow and circulation makes your GI system more effective overall. Studies have shown that exercise, especially more rigorous forms, can greatly reduce the risk of developing some digestive disturbances.
Maintaining a Healthy Colon
Keeping your colon healthy means you’ll be healthier and even more energetic. When toxins linger in the colon, we feel sluggish and certainly not at our best. Worse yet is when we simply can’t go to remove all the waste. A diet high in fiber can help combat constipation—just remember to drink plenty of water as well, or you’ll feel more bloated and constipated than you did before.