Let’s have a look at the best foods to clean your colon and prevent illnesses such as colorectal cancer, polyps, colitis, diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others.
The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last step of the digestive system. Among other things, it does the job of removing fecal matter from your body, but it’s also highly important to your immune system.
In order to avoid diseases of the colon (such as colorectal cancer, polyps, colitis, diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome . . . ) and many other problems that can come from these illnesses, we’re showing you the best foods for making sure that your colon is healthy.
Foods rich in fiber
When you think of foods that are healthy for the colon, the first thing that comes to mind is fiber. But it’s not enough to just avoid refined foods. You should also choose foods that contain natural fiber, instead of foods that just have it added artificially. Nowadays, for example, “whole grain bread” isn’t necessarily made from whole wheat, but possibly from bleached flour with the fiber being added afterwards. For these reasons you should always try to pick foods that contain fiber and that aren’t processed.
Here are some foods that contain natural fiber:
- Fresh and dried fruits
- Whole grains: bread, grains (such as rice, millet, quinoa, and wheat) and pasta
When you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, it’s also important to increase the amount of water that you drink in between meals, since you can contract a bad case of constipation from the lack of liquid.
You should strive to drink at least 6 to 10 glasses a day. The amount of water that you will need depends on your age, your amount of physical activity, and the outside temperature. It’s also possible that you will need more if you have certain kidney problems or congestive heart problems. If you have any of these issues, we recommend that you consult with a doctor.
In some studies, calcium has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer. As with fiber, it’s important to look for foods that contain calcium naturally, and avoid all foods that advertise themselves as “enriched with calcium”. You can find natural calcium in the following foods:
- Sesame (whether in seeds, tahini, oil, gomashio . . . )
- Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, chard, and broccoli.)
- Almonds (whether in whole nuts or in drinks)
Whenever we talk about calcium, we should also talk about vitamin D, because without vitamin D, it’s impossible to absorb calcium well. Additionally, vitamin D is also a great way to prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer.
There are also certain foods that contain vitamin D:
If you live in an area of the world that receives little sunlight all year round, you can take Vitamin D supplements occasionally.
Folic acid, or vitamin B9, helps your body create new cells and, in addition to its many other benefits which make it a necessity, especially during pregnancy, it also reduces the risk of contracting colon cancer. It can be found in:
- Green leafy vegetables (chard, broccoli, spinach)
This mineral is used to treat digestive problems associated with gastrointestinal transit, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and it also helps reduce your risk of cancer. Try to eat foods rich in magnesium daily:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- White beans
- Green leafy vegetables
You can also take a supplement of magnesium chloride or magnesium citrate every two or three months.
Be careful with red or processed meat
When it comes to your intestinal health, you should keep in mind that some foods aren’t so beneficial, since they generate toxins that can deposit in the intestine and make you sick. This is the case when it comes to red meats and processed meats. It’s much better to choose foods such as bird meat, fish, eggs, nuts and beans, etc. These foods can give you the protein and energy that your body requires.
Careful with milk products
If you suffer from an irritated colon, on top of red meats, you should also avoid milk and milk products. Try to cut milk out of your diet for a month and then try eating some. If you don’t tolerate milk well, your body will let you know immediately.
You could also try some vegetable smoothies during this time.
Kudzu, intestinal regulator
Kudzu is a root plant that has some wonderful regenerative and regulatory properties for your colon. So how do you take it? You can dissolve a teaspoon of ground kudzu in a glass of cold water, keeping in mind not to use a metal spoon (a better choice would be wood or porcelain). Afterwards, put it in a saucepan to boil, continuously stirring it. After about minutes, you’ll see the color and the texture change, and the liquid will become transparent and dense. When this happens, take it off the heat, let it cool, and drink it, but not with your meals. You can take kudzu to clean your colon one or two times a day, and you’ll soon notice a change for the better.
Images courtesy of Chiot’s Run and Steffenz.