Published on February 28, 2022

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month; Eating for a healthy colon

Just as diet can have a positive or negative impact on heart, brain and bone health, the overall health of your digestive system and colon can be affected by what you eat.

The colon is a crucial part of the digestive system, and proper nutrition can play an important role in its health for the rest of your life. To ensure a happy colon, eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains is encouraged, with a focus on minimizing the intake of red and processed meats.

Lean proteins can include boneless, skinless chicken; salmon; and white-fleshed fish. Consumption of fruit with low sugar content, such as oranges and bananas, is also a great option. Leafy vegetables like kale, swiss chard, and spinach are versatile options to increase your beneficial fiber intake and they also encourage gut health. Barley, quinoa, whole wheat flour, wild and brown rice and oatmeal are excellent choices of whole grains. These foods contain more colon-friendly vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants compared to their refined counterparts—white flour and white rice.

A healthy, well-balanced diet can promote good digestive health and also provide you with many other benefits to your health over time. As always, when implementing any changes to your diet, it is important to discuss with your doctor first.