Colon, commonly known as the large intestine, is considered an imperative and most sensitive part of the digestive system. It helps remove salt, water and some undigested nutrients from the food a person consumes. It also aids elimination of solid waste from the human body. Healthy colon functioning not only indicates excellent diet, but also a healthy lifestyle.
Frequent occurrence of bowel disorders, like diarrhea and constipation, indicates improper functioning of the colon. It is imperative to have at least one healthy bowel movement in 24 hours. Declining colon health might lead to more serious health issues, like colon cancer.
Tips for Healthy Colon
There are many ways that can help maintain good colon health. If you feel any discomfort, these simple lifestyle changes can help keep your colon healthy.
- Exercise – Besides weight loss benefits, exercise also reduces the danger of precancerous cysts developing in the colon. For good colon health, engaging in physical activities, like cycling, running, walking, dancing and tennis, can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer. Moreover, it helps maintain healthy bowel movements, thus aiding good colon health.
- Avoid Processed Meats – Consumption of processed meat is one of the major reasons for colon cancer. Processed meats are prepared through smoking, salting or curing and addition of preservatives like nitrates. Research shows processed and red meats contain high quantity of saturated fats. These saturated fats increase the risk of developing colon cancer. It is, therefore, recommended you avoid it completely. Processed meats generally include ham, bacon, corned beef, sausages and salami.
- Vegetables and Fruits – Vegetables work wonders for colon health. Besides being natural sources of fibre, vegetables are also counted upon as effective immune boosters. Vegetables from the cruciferous family are known to contain Phyto-nutrients that are extremely effective in fighting colon cancer. Similarly, fruits provide the required fibre for proper bowel movements. Fruits also contain antioxidants and specific nutrients to prevent inflammation.
- Vitamin Supplements and Probiotics – It is easy to diagnose poor colon health through common symptoms like discomfort and irregular bowel movements. If you feel the need for an instant health boost, it is recommended to supplement your fibre diet with Probiotics and vitamin supplements. Some good sources of friendly bacteria include yogurt drinks and natural yogurt. These friendly bacteria play an important role in maintaining good colon health by producing the required quantity of Vitamin B12.
- Colon Flushes – A colon flush is one of the popular treatments for cleansing the colon. It is a form of detoxification. It is important the toxins building around the lining of the colon be flushed out of the body. This can be done with an effective mineral-balancing solution. Regular cleansing of the colon has shown effective results and makes people feel relaxed and refreshed. Colon cleansing treatment can be availed easily at a health center. However, since the colon is a sensitive part of the digestive system, it is best to get the flush done under the expert supervision of a professional.
- Fish – Fish can be used as a substitute for red meat and processed meats. It also helps maintain the health of your colon. It has been proven through studies, consumption of fish can reduce the risk of colon cancer by almost 12%.
- Whole Grains – Similar to fruits and veggies, whole grains are also an excellent source of dietary fibre. They help with colon disorders, like constipation. Some cereals also are a good source of folate. It is, however, recommended to go slow with consumption of fibre. Increase the quantity gradually, over a period of few weeks. Sudden increase in fibre intake can lead to intestinal blockage.
In addition to the above mentioned tips for good colon health, it is important to drink plenty of water. Your daily water intake should not be less than 10 to 12 glasses a day. This would naturally detoxify your colon and also prevent your stools from hardening.