Digestive health problems are easily the most common ailments adults experience in the United States. According to a survey done, almost ¾ of Americans experience some type of digestive problem. Colon health is particularly important for those trying to lose weight.
“Colon cleansing has the potential to aid weight loss; some people claim to have lost up to 20 pounds over the course of a month. The average human colon weighs about four pounds empty and can hold up to eight meals’ worth of food before digestion finally occurs. A colon cleansing can result in significant weight loss and kick-start your metabolism, as well as refocus your attention on better food choices and whole-body wellness.” – Gaiam.com
Ulcerative colitis and colon cancer are two problems that are fairly common in the United States. Eating a healthy diet is the first step working to prevent colon disease and other gastrointestinal issues.
Often toted as the number one food for preventing cancer and promoting colon health, broccoli is a powerhouse of a vegetable. Broccoli contains two chemicals which fight cancer: sulforaphan and diinodylmethane.
Sulforaphan has been studied quite extensively. One study done in 2010 by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center showed that this chemical not only killed breast cancer cells in lab and mouse studies but also prevented further tumor growth.
It is best to eat mature broccoli raw or very lightly steamed. Broccoli sprouts are thought to be about 50 times higher in sulforaphan so you can include those in salads or stir fry as well.
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your overall intestinal health is to eat a serving of yogurt every day. High quality yogurts are packed with healthy bacteria and probiotics that your gut needs to be healthy and function properly. Yogurt is especially helpful for those with constipation and other bowel movement issues.
Studies support that yogurt is especially important for helping to prevent colon cancer by giving the body an easily absorbed source of vitamin D and calcium. Yogurt also increase the acidity of your digestive system to a healthy level. When the colon is acidic enough it makes it more difficult for polyps to form.
Salmon is packed with nutrients and it is highly recommended that it be a part of a healthy diet, unless you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Salmon is easy to digest and it’s amino acids are much easier for our bodies to use compared to red meats. Salmon is a great source of healthy cholesterol since it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is also rich in vitamins A, B and D as well as minerals like calcium and phosphorus. This fish also contains selenium which is a mineral that is often more difficult for humans to consume enough of in the average diet. Salmon helps everything around your body from your skin and hair to your cardiovascular health.
- Brown Rice
Brown rice is already widely believed to be a healthier option when compared to white rice. Brown rice is higher in fiber, rich in magnesium and selenium, contains many antioxidants, and releases sugar more slowly.
A study done by Loma Linda University further proves how important brown rice is in the diet. Their research showed that by eating brown rice once a week the risk of colon polyps was reduced by 40%. Colon polyps aren’t cancerous but they do increase the risk of colon cancer. By reducing polyp growth, the change of getting cancer is greatly reduced.
Curry is quite a popular dish in India and Asian countries. In India cancer rates are quite low and researchers are beginning to study whether the classic curry dish might be responsible. While you would have to eat a lot of curry to prevent polyps, studies do show that capsules of curcumin (the chemical in tumeric, the spice used in curry) affect polyp growth.
A study done with a small group of people at John Hopkins shows that combining curcumin with a chemical found in onions reduced polyp growth by 60% and shrunk the polyps in size by about 50%. While the participants group was very small, researchers have high hopes for curcumin.
You can harness some of the power of curry by having it in your meals once or twice a week. You can even combine it with other foods listed here that are colon friendly.
Spinach is quite a popular superfood and has long been studied as a food that fights against certain diseases and ailments. Oregon State University had a study that showed eating spinach in cooked foods reduced the carcinogens that can contribute to cancer growth.
Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is also a great source of fiber which also assists in over digestive health. Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked, with raw being the best way to gain all nutrients from the vegetable. You can also blend it into a smoothie.
Mushrooms don’t seem a likely candidate as an anti-cancer food but they are. The mushrooms most effective at preventing colon cancer are shitake and maitake. Both mushrooms are very high in selenium as well as other nutrients that can be difficult to consume enough of through a typical diet. Selenium helps prevent cancer by protecting your body from free radicals as well as strengthening your immune system.
If you have a family history of colon health issues or have found that you’ve been having tummy trouble, try adding these foods to your diet. Changing your diet is sometimes all that is needed to help with chronic stomach trouble.