Is your colon happy? Yes, you read that right. The question was: Is your colon happy? Think about it. You spend so much of your time making sure you’re building a happy home, a happy family, a happy childhood for your kids. You worry if your boss is happy with your work. You may even wonder if your bank account is happy. But you likely never think about whether your colon is happy. But the truth is when your colon is unhappy, you’re unhappy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your colon is healthy. And the great thing about colons is that when they’re healthy, they’re happy. Here are some valuable tips from gastroenterologists in Queens that can help you turn your colon’s frown upside down.
If your body is lacking the water it needs to be properly hydrated, it is likely building up toxins. And, when toxins build up in your colon, you’re a much higher risk for developing gas, bloating, constipation, and gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer. Proper hydration is the first and perhaps most important step in reducing your risk of developing GI problems. Try to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day in order to cleanse your body and keep your colon happy as a lark.
When it comes to a happy, healthy colon, fiber is as important as hydration. If you’re not getting enough fiber every day, all those gastrointestinal diseases you avoided by drinking enough water are back within reach. Fiber works in your intestinal tract to move foods along and properly cleanse your colon, thereby keeping it healthy and happy. That’s why eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fiber is vital to maintaining colon health. According to the Institute of Medicine, women require 25 grams of fiber each day, and men require 38 grams per day. First, always check the labels of the foods you eat in order to gauge whether you’re getting enough fiber (as well as other vitamins and minerals). When choosing fiber-rich foods for your diet, it’s important to note that the darker fruits and vegetables tend to contain the most fiber. Following is a list of foods that are rich in fiber:
- Vegetables such as broccoli, beans, peas, celery, and collard greens
- Fruits such as bananas, prunes, oranges, raspberries, and strawberries
- Grains such as brown rice, wild rice, barley, and bulgur wheat
Exercise keeps the blood flowing properly through your circulatory system. Without proper blood flow that gets the proper amount of oxygen to your organs, your colon can’t work the way it needs to in order to digest foods and keep them moving. Your exercise routine should include both a cardiovascular workout as well as stretching, as these two types of exercise increase oxygen and help you maintain proper blood flow to your organs. When it comes to exercise, don’t worry about getting an extreme workout; just 20 minutes daily is all you need to keep your colon happy.
Recent studies have shown that vitamin D is vital to colon health, especially when it comes to colon cancer prevention. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include dairy products such as yogurt and buttermilk; oily fish such as salmon, trout, and swordfish; and eggs.
If it’s true that you’re unhappy when you’re colon’s unhappy (and it is true), then it stands to reason that when your colon is happy, you’re happy too! Okay, maybe that’s a bit simplistic, but it is a fact that an unhappy colon can make for a very unhappy you. The great thing about your colon is that it doesn’t need love or money or excitement or even friends to make it happy. All your colon needs to be happy is for you to take proper care for it. Drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fiber, and getting the proper exercise … these are just a few of the steps you can take to ensure the health, and therefore the happiness, of your colon. Contact a gastroenterologist near you for additional valuable information on how to maintain good colon health.