Your colon is an important part of your digestive system, and it can be greatly affected by your diet. While you should keep talking to your doctor about your digestive health, here are some ways you can improve your colon’s health by improving your diet.
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
First of all, you should increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and lentils. Not only are these packed with fiber, but they provide lots of essential vitamins and minerals. They shouldn’t make up your entire diet, but at least half of your plate should contain plant-based foods.
Limit Red Meat Consumption
Studies show that consuming just 100 grams of red meat per day can increase your risk of developing colon cancer by 15 to 20 percent. That’s the equivalent of eating just one hamburger. Instead of eating red meat all the time, eat other meats such as fish, chicken, and turkey. When you do eat red meat, try to consume 18 ounces or less every week, and don’t cook it at temperatures that cause it to char. This causes the meat to release chemicals that are tied to increased cancer risk.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
You should be consuming less than 35 grams of sugar every day if you want a healthier colon. This doesn’t include sugars in fruit and dairy foods that occur naturally, but it does include anything that is found in candy, sweet baked goods, and soft drinks. Avoid eating too many sweets, and stick to sugar-free drinks such as water, coffee, and unsweetened tea.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
The increased amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you should be eating will improve your fiber intake, but you should always be conscious of this anyway. It’s best to consume at least 30 grams of fiber every day from food sources, but if you’re not getting enough fiber, you can always take supplements to increase your intake.
Speak to Your Doctor
Improving your diet will help improve your colon’s health, but you should still speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. Your doctor can give you advice on your diet, schedule a colon cancer screening, and otherwise help you improve your overall health, so don’t be afraid to ask them any questions that you might have.