7 Foods to Eat For a Healthy Colon
Healthy digestion is key to a healthy body, and the colon is essential to this process. The colon serves as the final stage in the digestive system as it rids the body of waste after absorbing the nutrients from the foods we eat.
There are many health conditions related to colon health, including colorectal cancer, colonic polyps, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's Disease, and celiac disease. However, it's possible to better manage the associated symptoms and keep your colon healthy by incorporating the following foods into your diet.
Fiber plays an important role in colon health, and many fruits are rich in fiber. While you can get your fill with apples, blueberries, or oranges, raspberries are an especially great source of fiber, offering 8 grams per cup. You can enjoy them as a raw snack, or spread some raspberry jam on toast for a sweet breakfast treat.
Lentils and Beans
Also high in fiber, lentils and beans are easy choices to introduce. Looking for lunch or dinner options? Soups, stews, and chilis are a delicious and filling way to incorporate beans into your diet.
Dairy products contain high amounts of vitamin D, which has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Yogurt, in particular, contains active bacterial cultures, which help maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria to support overall gastrointestinal health. It's also filled with calcium, which may play a role in lowering the risk of colon-related diseases. While yogurt's tasty enough on its own or with some trail mix, you can also indulge in some yogurt-covered pretzels.
You may have heard how brown rice is a more nutritious option than white rice, but did you know that it can also help protect your colon? Brown rice and other whole grains have been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. It's a good source of fiber too, so boil some brown basmati rice for a delicious side dish as part of a healthy dinner.
Like several fruits, many dark colored vegetables are rich in fiber content. Artichokes, in particular, offer 10 grams each. But if you're looking for more variety in your vegetables, broccoli and carrots also feature plenty of dietary fiber. Pack some freeze-dried carrots for a simple healthy snack, or get creative in the kitchen and toss together this broccoli quinoa salad—an especially nutritious option that features pumpkin seeds, which also help reduce stress.
A fan of seafood? Then you might have another reason to enjoy your favorite fish recipe. Some research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish can reduce inflammation and improve the function of colon cells.
Eating a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fish can go a long way in maintaining colon health. Additionally, you may want to avoid consuming too much red and processed meat, which studies have found can negatively impact the colon. Introduce regular exercise to your daily routine, and you'll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy colon along with a fit body and sound mind.
Photos: Personal Creations, Zoe Magee, Jeffrey Deng, Jakub Kapusnak