We all know that eating a balanced diet is important. Still, many of us indulge in pizza and ice cream, not truly understanding their consequences. Specifically — we don’t know the impact that indulgent foods can have on our digestive health.
In addition to tobacco use and a sedentary lifestyle, consuming a diet high in fat and low in fiber is a risk factor for colon health, including increased risks of developing colon cancer.
While you can’t change certain risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as genetics or medical history, you are able to better manage and control your diet. The good news is that small, simple changes can help. Here are a few places to start:
- Limit intake of red meat and processed meat
- Increase consumption of whole grains
- Eat more fresh produce
- Avoiding excessive intake of alcohol
- Exercising more
These five activities are powerful ways to keep your digestive system in check. They can also help you lose weight, which can help reduce your colon cancer risk. Additionally, you’ll reap the benefits of enjoying foods that are high in vitamins and minerals.
The first place to start talking about digestive health is with your primary care physician. Your PCP can help explain any additional risk factors that your medical or family history may play into digestive health.
Most screening entities recommend that you receive a colonoscopy once every 10 years, beginning at age 50. This common examination checks the intestine for abnormal polyps or tissues, and addresses any abdominal pain that may be causing you discomfort.
If you have a family history of colon cancer, your doctor will likely recommend that you have a colonoscopy before age 50.If you think you may be at risk or you want to learn more about your colon health, find a caring, compassionate physician near you today.