You probably don’t give your colon much thought until something goes awry, such as diarrhea, constipation or other troubles. But if you get to know your colon before it causes you grief, you’ll be taking steps towards better general health and increase your chances of catching signs of colon cancer. Early intervention is the key to identifying and successfully treating this type of cancer, which is the second deadliest in North America.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your colon healthy:
What the colon does
The colon (also known as the large intestine) is the final stop in food’s journey through the digestive tract. The colon absorbs fluid from indigestible food residue and produces solid waste for elimination. ‘The colon is essentially a waste-storage organ that lets you control when the waste is released,’ says gastroenterologist Dr. Clarence KW Wong, associate professor of medicine at the University of Alberta.
But this organ does much more than just act as your body’s garbage shoot. ‘The colon is also important for fluid, electrolytes (salts) and fatty-acid absorption. These can be important for systemic health. As well, the colon holds a large number of commensally bacteria [‘good bacteria’], which may hold many benefits for the body,’ he adds.
It’s amazing how the same healthy lifestyle habits most experts recommend for weight loss and general good health apply equally to the promotion of good colon health. Want to keep your digestive tract on track? Here are some of the top tips:
‘Drink plenty of water and other caffeine-free fluids
‘Drink caffeine and alcohol in moderation
‘Get regular exercise
‘Eat a balanced diet that’s high in fiber . Women should aim to get 25 grams of fiber daily and men should get 32 grams.
Those that have issues with the colon and are not getting enough fiber from their regular diet can take supplements that are available in the market.
Markovit offers Colon EcoPlus which is a combination of fiber, digestive enzyme and other botanicals that aid in bowel cleansing.