Do you know someone affected by colon cancer? Have you yourself been personally touched by it? Each year 150,000 people will be diagnosed with and 50,000 will die from this disease. Most of us know someone who has or has had colon cancer. While genetics may play a role, a healthy lifestyle “could prevent up to 70 to 90 percent of colorectal cancers” (Source: Everyday Health).
Unlike family history, diet is something we can all control. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s be more conscious of what we’re eating (and not eating) this month, and try to add (or eliminate) foods to improve our colon health. Below are some healthy eating tips. At the end of this post, you will find the link to a meal plan including 31 colon-healthy meals.
What to Eat
- Fill 2/3 of the plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
- Eat more fiber. Aim for 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories in your diet. Good sources include whole grains (brown rice, oats, couscous, quinoa, whole wheat breads, and pastas); vegetables, especially broccoli, sweet potatoes, and carrots; fruits like avocado, apples, and pears; nuts; and beans (black, pintos).
- Eat more garlic.
- Eat omega-3 fatty acids found in wild salmon, milled flaxseed, walnuts, and plant-based oils like olive and sunflower oil.
- Eat fresh roasted chicken breast, hummus, or peanut butter.
- Eat at least 5 daily servings of vegetables--especially colorful ones like cabbage, kale, and broccoli plus cauliflower.
- Try to eat yellow and orange vegetables like carrots, peppers, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes every day.
What to Cut Out
- Fill no more than 1/3 of your plate with poultry or lean red meat.
- Cut back on red meats and processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, salami, and deli meats. The high saturated fat content has been linked to colon cancer.
- Avoid charred or blackened meats.
- No prepackaged foods like frozen TV dinners and boxed meals that are full of sodium, fat, preservatives, and additives.
- Limit refined sugars found in cakes, cookies, pies, and sodas.
If you are in need of some meal ideas to improve colon health, check out the March Meal Plan where you will find 31 recipes featuring these colon-friendly foods.
March Meal Plan
For these and over 1,600 recipes, follow my Colon-Healthy Recipes board on Pinterest.
Do something good for yourself this month. Assess your diet, and see where you need to make some changes to transform your colon health.