Diet and nutrition are always hot topics when it comes to colon cancer. It’s probably because the GI tract is the organ responsible for digesting and absorbing nutrients from food. It makes sense that the foods you eat would influence your risk for colon cancer and other diseases of the colon.
It’s sometimes amusing what people think can make for a healthy colon. From enemas to special concoctions that you drink, there’s a lot of crazy ideas out there. However, when it comes to what you should eat it’s not crazy, it’s just sensible.
There has been a lot of talk about fiber, red meat and folate as well as how you prepare the food. Not to worry, because I’m here to help!
Here are the basics on a diet for a healthy colon:
- Eat 8 to 10 colorful fruit and vegetable servings daily (4-5 cups)
- Two to three pieces of fruit
- One cup or more of vegetables with lunch AND dinner
- 6 oz. low sodium vegetable juice
- Consume legumes (dried beans) at least 5 times per week
- Limit meats (Eat red meat no more than 1-2 x/week)
- Choose whole grains and avoid processed and refined grains/sugars
- Limit intake of whole milk products
- Include healthy fats like cold-water fish, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, olive oil, avocadoes
- Limit Alcohol consumption
- Don’t eat charred meats
- Drink plenty of fluids, water or unsweetened beverages
- Consume 25-35g fiber daily
- You will likely meet your fiber goal if you eat 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables plus one serving of beans/legumes or at least two servings of whole grains each day
- Engage in daily physical activity to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Want to track your progress? Check out my blog on Tracking Progress and/or use the nutrition tracker. Feel free to post any questions in the comment section. I’ll be glad to answer them.
Keep things moving!
I noticed that when you referred to legumes, you mentioned “dried beans.” For convenience, I usually use canned beans. I know they can be high in sodium, but is there any other difference between canned and dried beans?
Good question! So the main difference between canned and dried beans is sodium, as you mentioned. Canned are certainly more convenient. For a nice blend of convenience and low sodium, you can try the beans frozen. Also, with the canned beans you can pour them into a colander and rinse them off. FYI: this also helps to reduce the gas forming compounds of beans. Cooking dried beans is very economical, although can take a long time. I usually use a crockpot or cook them over the stove for 2-3 hours as a soup if I used the dried ones.
Thanks for the comment!