Colon health is a real concern, no matter who you are. Finding ways to keep it healthy is a priority for men and women around the world.
You may find it surprising to learn that a few small decisions each day have the potential to reduce the risk of colon-related illness in a significant way.
I’d like you to think of how often you hear about “gut health.” But guess what? Gut health is practically synonymous with colon health. Of the roughly 40 trillion bacteria residing on your body, the overwhelming majority of them stay in your intestines.
The ones that live in your colon can have a massive impact on the risk of colon-related disease.
And you have a lot of power over which types of bacteria take up residence.
Bacteria living in your body can fight disease or contribute to it. It really comes down to which types are living inside of you. Generally speaking, a diverse array is healthy and may help fight against illness.
Disease risk goes up when the population is largely homogenous.
There is a genetic component to your microbiota (gut population), but you can manipulate it with food choices. There’s plenty of data to suggest that the more diverse a person’s diet, the more diverse and healthier their gut bacterial population.
What does a diverse diet look like? Certainly not like the Western or Standard American diet, typically made up of meat, potatoes, junk food, and food with a uniform shade of golden brown.
That stuff, particularly the golden brown and junk foods, can hijack your gut bacteria. Sugar and grease can sabotage colon health.
Instead, you’ll want to build your diet around fiber-rich foods, which feed healthy bacteria, so they grow and breed. Known as prebiotics, these foods can make a huge impact on colon health and help lower the risk of disease.
So, next time you’re reaching for a snack or building a meal, try colorful fruits and veggies. Some great prebiotic foods include:
- Whole grains
- Potatoes (not particularly high fiber when peeled, but they do feature resistance starch, which can feed healthy gut bacteria)
- Leafy greens
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.