What you eat has a significant impact on the health of your colon. That fact largely explains why rates of colorectal cancer are so much higher in countries that favor high-fat, low-fiber diets.
The doctors of Piedmont Colorectal Associates remind you that even if you live in a place with a high density of golden arches, drive-thru dining, and all-you-can-eat buffets, you can make modest changes in your own eating habits that will maintain the health of your colon, and protect you from developing a variety of serious conditions.
Above all, your colon needs vital nutrients and fiber. The fiber scours the intestine, clearing out impurities and keeping things moving along briskly. Ensuring an even flow in the intestine lowers pressure, reducing stress on the intestinal lining and helping to prevent the formation of diverticula.
Researchers believe that at least half of all colon cancer is preventable by adopting simple lifestyle changes, including improving diets, controlling weight and promoting exercise. The best foods to add to your mealtime menu include vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which contain every part of the kernel and all of nature’s intended nutrients. High-fiber foods can be fun: Try raspberries, oranges, apples, bananas and pears to go with your side-order of broccoli and asparagus.
Proper diet is important in reducing your chances of developing colorectal cancer, but there are other conditions that can also appear after years of poor nutrition, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
The experienced Atlanta-area doctors of Piedmont Colorectal Associates advise patients not to underestimate the importance of vitamin D and calcium for a healthy colon. You can get both in milk, although excessive calcium and the fat in whole milk are not recommended for overall health. A great place to get your daily dose of vitamin D is actually outdoors: When it comes to this key nutrient, the sun is nature’s free naturopathic dispensary.
Habits to Break
The foods you should avoid or limit include red meat, chemical-rich processed meats, refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread, and sugar.
How much you eat can be as important as what you eat, which is why too much sugar is hazardous to your colon’s health. Excessive sugar consumption is associated with weight gain; and there is a strong correlation between obesity and colorectal cancer. Research has demonstrated a link between higher concentrations of insulin in the blood, characteristic of obesity, and elevated colorectal cancer risk.
For more information on foods and lifestyle changes that can keep your colon healthy, schedule a personal consultation at our Atlanta or Stockbridge office by contacting Piedmont Colorectal Associates today.