The colon does a great deal more than simply expelling digested food. It is a key contributor to your overall health and you can help to keep it healthy to carry out that job by following a proper diet.
No doubt you have heard that consuming fiber helps, and there is plenty of evidence for that. As with any topic in nutrition and health, there will always be ongoing studies and they do not always agree. However, many things are known with high confidence.
Dietary Fiber and Colon Health
Amongst them is the fact that indigestible fiber provides the material to help keep that waste material, known as chyme, moving well through the intestinal tract. In addition, it provides bulk, which is not overly moist and not too dry, to create feces which are easy to eliminate. That can help prevent constipation or diarrhea.
Fiber’s role in reducing colorectal cancers, among the top two or three most common types in the U.S. and Canada according to the CDC, is much less clear-cut. However, there are numerous studies, which suggest that waste matter that remains in the large intestine for too long, increases the likelihood of these kinds of cancers. Fiber helps keep things moving and helps control the moisture content of stools. The entire process typically takes ten to twelve hours, producing two or three bowel motions each day. Irregular bowel movements are linked to a number of health issues.
How do you get that fiber? The American Cancer Society suggests five servings each day of vegetables and fruit, such as bananas and green beans, along with various kinds of nuts and whole grains, such as oats or flaxseed. The total should be between twenty and thirty-five grams each day.
Supplements for a Healthy Colon
Folic acid or folates, a type of B-vitamin, are another useful part of a diet that can help keep your colon functioning properly. Studies have linked insufficient amounts to colon cancer. For those folks who do not get enough in fortified foods, dietary supplements are a great source of additional folic acid. Around four hundred micrograms (0.4mg) is right for the majority of folks.
Milk, as well as other foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D, are yet another helpful part of a colon-healthy diet. Sources of those also include fortified cereal products and orange juice, as well as dark green vegetables, almonds, or yogurt. Vitamin D helps with the assimilation of calcium. Amongst other beneficial roles, calcium reduces the potential risk of creating colon polyps, which can be common precursors to colorectal cancers.
Numerous studies claim that decreasing the percentage of fat in the diet will help lower your chance of colon cancer and contribute to general colon health. Fat is much more calorie dense and overweight problems have been linked with various types of cancer. However, there is fat and then there is fat and some fat, both the correct amount and type, is essential for proper nerve function along with other biological processes. Omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, are a big benefit to a healthy diet. Conversely, saturated fats increase your chances of various health issues, such as diabetes.
Last, but far from least, remember that water! The colon, along with other organs, will extract the amount you need to retain, but will also use some. Optimum quantities vary from six to ten 8oz glasses each day, or the equivalent, dependant upon your body weight. Bear in mind, caffeinated beverages do not count towards the total since they work as a diuretic.