Colon Health – It's not just what you eat.  It's a Lifestyle!

Colon Health – It's not just what you eat.  It's a Lifestyle!

By: Cassandra Stirling, Staff Nutritionist

Colon HealthIt’s no secret that you are what you eat, but what many people do not realize is that you are also what you do not excrete. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in North America and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women.

Colon health also plays a big role in the battle of the bulge.   Many people carry unwanted pounds of impacted fecal matter in their colons, making them overweight and creating a breeding ground for bacteria   If you are regularly constipated or are not having at least one bowel movement a day, you could be putting yourself at risk. It is vital to choose colon friendly foods and lifestyle habits.  Check out some simple ways to keep your colon clean and lose those extra pounds once and for all.

 1.         Limit hard to digest animal proteins.  Instead, choose organic, fresh, lean, non red meat sources such as fish and eggs.  Better yet, choose vegetarian fiber rich protein sources such as soy, beans, nuts, and whole grains.  Lentils are a great alkalizing high fiber protein source.

2.          Eat slowly and chew your food well.  Digestion starts in the mouth so let the salivary enzymes work their magic.  This takes a load off the stomach and improves overall digestion.  It’s also important to avoid over eating and drinking fluids with meals as they both interfere with digestion. 

3.          Drink plenty of water.  This will keep foods moving through the intestinal tract.  Drink at least 1-2 liters of water a day to avoid constipation.  Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol is also a good idea as both are acidic and dehydrating. 

4.          Be active!   Go to the gym, play a sport, walk your dog, or rake leaves, it doesn’t matter. Activity gets your blood moving and increases circulation, which aids elimination.

5.          Increase your fiber intake.  Aim for 25-30 grams a day. Eat lots of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables.  The fiber and water they contain adds bulk to your bowel movement and helps remove wastes.  Eating them raw is best since cooking breaks down fibers.  Other great fiber sources are nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.   Substitute white pasta and white bread with whole grain, sprouted grain, spelt or amaranth.  Substitute white rice with brown or wild rice. These are higher fiber, less acidic choices.

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6.          Take a fiber supplement.  Some people naturally have sluggish colons, and if you just can’t seem to get results from dietary and lifestyle changes, try supplementing with a natural fiber source such as organic psyllium.  Just be sure to drink plenty of water when taking any fiber supplement and avoid the use of laxatives, which can cause dependency.

7.          Avoid over the counter medications if possible. They are highly acidic and often cause constipation.  Repeated use can even damage the intestinal tract. Opt for herbal or other natural remedies whenever possible.

8.          Try to stay on schedule.  If you eat, sleep and exercise the same times every day, your bowels will likely move the same times as well.   A chance in your regular routine will often result in a change in number 2 habits so make sure your changes are positive ones.

If you follow these basic steps to colon health, you are essentially living the Alkaline Lifestyle.  Every system in your body will operate more efficiently.  With improved digestion, your colon health will reach new levels and the stubborn fat will melt away!

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

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