Having an unhealthy colon is anything butt a joke. Ahhh…there’s nothing like starting an article off with a great pun. Anyways, the colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last portion of the digestive tract. Many of the body’s organs and systems are connected to the colon, meaning that an unhealthy colon can trigger inflammation, diseases, or problems in other areas of the body.
What Does The Colon Do?
When food particles reach the colon, most of the nutrient absorption has already happened. The colon’s job is to absorb residual nutrients, salts, and water and compact the rest of the waste into fecal matter. This is then eliminated via bowel movements. You can actually look to your stools to gauge how your digestive system is functioning.
The average American can carry up to 20 pounds of waste in his or her digestive tract. The last thing you want is built up bacteria in the colon. This can lead to gas, constipation, cravings, abdominal strain, chronic inflammation, fatigue, or a hormonal imbalance.
You can help to improve the health of your colon by eating the right foods. We have some of the best foods that contribute to a healthy colon. Start incorporating them into your diet and let us know how they work for you.
The active ingredient, curcumin, in turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which fight inflammation in the colon. When you consume turmeric, it works to clean out carcinogens before they damage your cell DNA. Always try to purchase fresh turmeric root because fresh is best!
Did you know that flaxseeds contain two types of dietary fiber? Roughly 20-40% is made up of soluble fiber and the other 60-80% is made up of insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber works to slow digestion and increase consistency of contents in the intestine. All of that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Now, insoluble fiber allows water to bind to stools, increasing their bulk and resulting in softer excrement. This helps prevent constipation.
Garlic & Onions:
Containing sulfides, which work to remove carcinogens and cause apoptosis in cancer cells, garlic and onions are beneficial to consume for a healthy colon. According to a recent study, women who consumed one or two cloves of garlic per week were 32% less likely to develop colon cancer compared to those who didn’t eat garlic. Imagine what would happen if you ate garlic and onions almost every day!
Fermented vegetables help to break down the foods and the undigested waste, which may be trapped in the intestinal walls. The enzymes in fermented vegetables, cultured sauerkraut in particular, help the body absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat more efficiently. Because fermented vegetables are natural probiotics, they work to improve the overall digestive process.
Milk Thistle Seed:
Commonly used as a liver cleansing herb, milk thistle can also benefit the digestive system. It helps to stimulate digestive enzymes and break down fats in the foods you eat. Milk thistle can sometimes have a soft laxative effect, especially if you eat a diet that is rich in fat.
These foods are amazing for keeping your colon healthy, but they aren’t the only ones. Eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, chard, or collards), fresh fruit, legumes, sprouts, and nuts and seeds can also help to maintain healthy digestion. Let us know how you feel about these foods in the comments below.