Health Tips for Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Did you wear colorful makeup, tease your hair and play Atari in your teen years? Did you or your date wear puffy sleeves to your high school prom? If so, chances are… it’s totally time for a colonoscopy.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and we are taking it back to the ‘80s to raise awareness about the importance of preventative screenings. If you’re turning 50 this year, you’ve reached the recommended colonoscopy screening age, and Harbin Clinic is reveling in ‘80s nostalgia to remind everyone about this important health milestone.

In addition to regular preventative screenings, there are certain things you can do to maintain and improve your health. 

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 of fiber each day for optimum colon health.

FORFEIT THE FAT

Eating fewer fried foods, red meat and other high-fat foods 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.

UP 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. A steady intake of Vitamin D is beneficial in colon cancer prevention.

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.

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.

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.

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.