Colon cancer is on the rise, with significantly more people being diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease below age 50 than previously. Although colon cancer used to be considered a disease of the elderly, probably because it was diagnosed mostly in older people, it now is seen in those who are much younger. During the 20th century, lifestyles became more sedentary and foods were processed more than before, a combination of factors that may have contributed to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise that allows chemically-laced food to sit in the colon for longer periods of time. This allows these substances to have a prolonged effect on bowel tissue, which can lead to the growth of polyps, and ultimately, to colon cancer.
Cleansing the internal organs is as important as keeping external skin and hair clean. There are several things a person can do to improve colon health:
- Eat a balanced diet. Get a nutritious supply of all the core food groups, including dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, and fats. A well-rounded supply will help to ensure that your body receives all the nourishment it needs to function properly. If you are not getting adequate nutrition, consider taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement that can add key elements to your diet.
- Avoid processed foods. Eliminate or at least reduce the amount of food that has artificial preservatives. These include lunchmeats, sausage, ham, and hot dogs, many of which contain sodium nitrites and sodium nitrates, both of which have been shown to play a role in the development of colon cancer. Salt, another common preservative that takes a variety of forms in different foods, also may promote the development of cancer. Cook fresh food instead of buying those that have a longer shelf life due to added chemicals.
- Drink plenty of water. Try to have at least eight glasses, eight ounces each, of clear water or beverages daily. Fluids help to clean your system by gently washing out offensive bacteria and germs that can harbor in the colon and lead to illness or problems.
- Get daily exercise. Ask your doctor to recommend a suitable exercise program that will help you get enough activity to keep your colon working as it should. Don’t overdo it, or you could get injured. Start slow with a walking or swimming program that will you get used to an exercise routine.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables or other types of roughage. Your body needs fiber to keep clean. Fibrous foods act like a brush that sweeps through your body’s organs and passages to get rid of unwanted debris. Fiber gives your colon a necessary workout to keep you from getting constipated. Regular bowel movements help to keep the colon functioning properly.
Don’t forget to have annual medical checkups after you reach the age of 40. With proper care, your colon should do its job the rest of your life.
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