Celebrate Your Colon with these Health Hacks

Blow out the candles, cut the cake, crank up the music and get ready to unwrap the ultimate gift for gut health: your annual colonoscopy.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, so celebrate your colon by scheduling your colonoscopy if you’re 50 and older. Colon health is vital to your digestive system and your body as a whole.

“We encourage everyone, especially those age 50 and over, to talk to their primary care physician about screening for colon cancer,” Harbin Clinic Gastroenterologist Dr. H. Whitney Jennings says.

To get this party started, we’ve compiled seventeen tips and tricks for you to kickstart your colon care.

Go With Your Gut

If you experience frequent constipation or diarrhea, you should consult with your physician. The bottom line is, trust your gut instincts. What’s happening in your gut is directly affecting your overall health.

Chew Your Food Thoroughly 

Chewing your food can ease the digestive process. Physicians say to chew your food until it has nearly dissolved in your mouth; this aids enzymes in your digestive system when breaking down food.

Eat More Fiber

Aim for the recommended 25 grams each day for optimum colon health.

Forfeit the Fat

Eating fewer fried foods, red meat and other foods high in fat may lower your chances of developing colon cancer.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Too much stress can impact your gut health. Yoga, meditation, art, therapy or even journaling have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.

Be a Pro(biotics)

Probiotics increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. Yogurt, fresh sauerkraut and supplements are all good sources of probiotics.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine are digestive stimulants and can disrupt the digestive process.

Drink Your Milk

A steady intake of Vitamin D is beneficial when trying to prevent colon cancer and maintain a healthy colon. You can get Vitamin D from a variety of sources including the sun and foods like bread, fatty fish, milk and cereal.

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Dehydration can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body. As those toxins accumulate, the risk for constipation and IBS increases. In order to maintain a healthy colon, drink eight glasses, or 64 ounces, per day.

Sip Your Tea

Green tea and white tea may help inhibit the growth of polyps that may lead to cancer, according to medical studies and lab tests.

Eat a Rainbow of Produce

Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, squash, sweet potatoes, okra, grapes and mushrooms plays a large part in maintaining a clean, happy colon.

Don’t Hold It

If you feel a bowel movement coming, head for the bathroom and let it go. Regular bowel movements are one of the ways your colon keeps itself clean and healthy.

Have Some Whole Grains

Whole grains, including brown rice, quinoa and cornmeal, are an essential part of colon health. Along with carbohydrates, whole grains contribute protein and fiber to the diet.

Take Care When You Prepare

Avoid cooking methods that may increase your colon cancer risk. Burning or charring meats creates carcinogenic substances. If you do choose to grill, avoid eating any charred, areas of the meat.

Remember Your Vitamins

A daily multivitamin is a good nutrition insurance policy that can also help protect against colon cancer. Multivitamins contain folate, which has been shown in numerous studies to lower the risk of colon cancer.

Chew the Fat

Not all fat is off limits — just choose unsaturated fats and avoid saturated and trans fats as part of your diet.

Get Your Colonoscopy

For individuals over 50, a colonoscopy is a necessary step in maintaining colon health. Also, ask your doctor about a colonoscopy if you are experiencing ongoing diarrhea or constipation, as these can be signs of colon and intestinal problems. To schedule your colonoscopy today visit Harbin Clinic Gastroenterology for more details.