Many Americans are aware of which foods are heart-healthy, but they often don’t think about cooking for their colons. Colorectal cancer// is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. So it is just as important to understand how to choose colon-friendly foods. Lynn Goldstein, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., from the Jay Monahan Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, has assembled her key tips on the best food choices for a healthier colon:
Choose Non-Red, Non-Processed Meat Sources of Lean Protein
o Choose poultry, fish, eggs, soy products, beans, and whole grains for the healthiest protein sources.
o Limit your red meat intake to special occasions like the summer barbecue or a great steak restaurant.
Choose a Rainbow of Vegetables and Fruits
o Vegetables and fruits of all colors are loaded with anti-cancer, immune-system-strengthening properties. Eat a rainbow!
Increase Your Fiber Intake
o Fiber is found in plant foods only, and is needed for healthy gut function.
o Choose whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice.
o Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; Add beans, peas and lentils to salads.
o Be sure to increase your water intake when increasing fiber in your diet.
Calcium Is Not Just Important for Healthy Bones
o Calcium intake has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
o Calcium can be found in a wide variety of foods including low-fat dairy products or skim milk, dark green vegetables, soy and tofu products, canned salmon and sardines, and fortified foods such as orange juice.
o Get more calcium by having almonds, cottage cheese, or yogurt as a snack.
o Talk with your doctor about whether a calcium supplement is right for you.
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