Colonic polyps are small clumps of cells that form in the lining of the large intestine. In fact, these mushroom-shaped lumps can be as small as a golf ball! Although some types of polyps (especially small ones) are not considered dangerous, there are actually polyps that have the potential to enlarge and transform into colon cancer. Generally, colonic polyps can be removed through a colonoscopy procedure. However, prevention is still better than cure, right? For that, read this article and discover the different types of foods to eat and avoid to prevent colon polyps from forming!
Part 1 of 3: Eating Nutrient-Dense Foods
Step 1. Focus on red, yellow, and orange vegetables
Vegetables are a group of foods that are proven effective in preventing various types of diseases and cancer. In addition, yellow, red, and orange vegetables have very high levels of vitamins and antioxidants so they can maintain the health of your colon.
- In fact, what is responsible for the formation of the orange and/or red color is the content of an antioxidant called beta carotene found in these vegetables.
- Antioxidants are often associated with nutrients that will turn into vitamin A in your body. Therefore, eating colorful vegetables with reasonable portions is also effective in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
- Consume 150 grams of colorful vegetables every day. For example, you can start to get used to eating red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots.
Step 2. Eat foods high in folate
Another food group that is effective at protecting the colon and preventing the formation of polyps are foods high in folate. Luckily, you can easily find folate in a variety of foods.
- Research shows that taking 400 IU of folate daily is effective in preventing the formation of polyps and colon cancer.
- In fact, the body can easily consume 400 IU of folate if you always eat a balanced diet and high in folate.
- Foods high in folate include micronutrient-added cereals, spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, whole wheat bread, and peanuts.
Step 3. Eat foods high in calcium
Calcium is another type of mineral that has been shown to be effective in preventing the formation of colonic polyps. Therefore, try to eat foods high in calcium in moderation to protect your colon.
- One study showed that people who consumed 1200 mg of calcium daily (roughly about three servings of calcium-rich foods) had a 20% lower risk of developing colonic polyps.
- Calcium is most commonly found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, kefir, cheese, or cottage cheese.
- In addition, calcium is also found in several types of plant-based foods outside of dairy products such as almonds, broccoli, dark green vegetables, and orange juice and soy milk that undergo the process of adding micronutrients.
Step 4. Focus on healthy or unsaturated fats
Some types of food contain a specific type of fat known as omega 3 fats. Often referred to as fats that can maintain heart health, omega 3 fats also have benefits that are no less good for colon health.
- Research shows that omega 3 fats are able to maintain and even increase the formation of new cells in the colon. Therefore, do not hesitate to eat healthy fats to prevent colon polyps from forming in your body.
- Healthy or unsaturated fats can be found in a variety of foods. Make sure you eat one serving of these foods every day to protect your colon and prevent polyps from forming.
- Eat foods like avocados, olive oil, olives, salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Step 5. Consume green tea
Indeed, many studies have shown the benefits of green tea to prevent the formation of polyps and colon cancer. From now on, don't hesitate to replace coffee consumption in the morning with a glass of decaffeinated green tea. If you want, you can also have one to two cups of decaffeinated green tea after dinner.
Step 6. Increase the consumption of water
Although water does not contain specific nutrients, its function is still very important to maintain the health of your body. Research even shows that lack of water consumption can lead to dehydration and increase the risk of polyps forming in the colon.
- If you are dehydrated, your body will forcibly take in water from other areas of your body (such as from feces or other cells in your body). This condition causes dehydration and constipation.
- The reduction in the transit time of the digestive tract and the concentration of carcinogenic substances in the body's cells can increase the risk of the growth of polyps that are prone to transforming into cancer.
- Medical experts recommend that you drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. But to prevent constipation, you will most likely need to increase the amount.
Part 2 of 3: Eating High-Fiber Foods
Step 1. Eat the right amount of vegetables
Vegetables are very rich in nutrients and fiber that are needed to maintain a healthy body and protect your colon.
- Consuming fiber is very important for maintaining the health of your digestive tract. If your bowel movements slow down, your risk of developing polyps and colon cancer increases.
- To meet the body's fiber needs, make sure you eat three to five servings of vegetables every day, each serving containing 150 grams of any vegetable or 300 grams of leafy greens.
- Vegetables that are high in fiber include artichokes, asparagus, avocados, sweet potatoes, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Step 2. Eat fruit to taste
You certainly already know that fruit is a food group that is rich in nutrients. Some types of fruit even have very high fiber content so they are suitable for consumption to meet your body's fiber needs.
- Eat 1-2 servings of fruit every day. In each serving, you can eat one small whole fruit or 85 grams of sliced fruit.
- Fiber-rich fruits include apples, apricots, berries, bananas, orange melon, oranges, and coconut.
Step 3. Eat 100% whole grain
One food group that has been shown to have very high fiber content is wheat. Make sure you only eat whole grains, which are more nutrient-dense than processed grains.
- Whenever you are going to eat a variety of processed wheat such as bread, rice, or pasta, make sure you always choose foods that are made from 100% whole wheat. These types of foods are richer in fiber because they are less processed! In other words, reduce the consumption of rice or white bread that has gone through several stages of processing.
- Eat two to three servings of whole grains, each containing 70 grams of cooked wheat.
- Increase consumption of foods such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, millet (a small grain cereal), farro (a whole grain bean grain), or low-calorie grains such as barley.
Step 4. Choose a high-fiber protein source
Did you know that many protein sources are high in fiber? Try eating protein-rich vegetables by following the recommended portion-per-serving rule.
- Besides being high in protein, legumes are also very rich in fiber. Therefore, don't hesitate to add it to your daily diet to meet your daily fiber needs.
- Legumes are a group of plant-based foods that include beans and lentils.
- Since legumes are also a source of protein, make sure you limit your consumption per serving to 170 grams.
- Choose foods such as black beans, chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans, lima beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans.
Step 5. Choose foods that have added fiber in the production process
Because fiber plays a very important role in maintaining your overall health, various food manufacturers add fiber to the foods they produce. Do not hesitate to consume these products to meet your fiber needs!
- In fact, nutrients in the form of natural fiber are found in various types of food. However, a person generally has difficulty meeting their daily fiber needs. For information, men generally need to consume 38 grams of fiber every day, while women need to consume 25 grams of fiber every day.
- In addition to choosing food groups that are rich in fiber, don't hesitate to also eat foods that have added fiber in the manufacturing process.
- Some types of foods that have added fiber are yogurt, soybeans, cereals, bread, orange juice, and granola bars.
Part 3 of 3: Avoiding Foods That Disturb Colonic Health
Step 1. Limit the consumption of saturated fat
Although you are advised to eat a variety of foods to prevent the potential for colon polyps, there are actually many types of foods that you should avoid or limit.
- In contrast to omega 3 fats, saturated fat has been shown to increase the risk of polyps formation and colon cancer.
- A study found that by eating 100 grams of red meat which is high in saturated fat, your risk of colon cancer will increase by 14%.
- Limit consumption of fatty meats, salami (high fat beef or pork sausage), hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and various processed meats. All of them are very high in saturated fat!
- If you want to eat it occasionally, make sure the portion per serving is around 85-110 grams.
Step 2. Reduce sugar consumption
In fact, other food groups that are at high risk of causing cancer and colon polyps are foods that are sugary and contain artificial sweeteners. Try to limit it!
- The sugar content in sweet foods can increase glucose levels in the body. Research shows that elevated glucose levels can also increase the risk of colon cancer!
- Foods that are high in sugar content and consumption should be limited are sugary drinks, candy, cookies, pies, ice cream, sugary cereals, pastries, and fruit juices.
- If you still want to eat these foods, don't eat them too often and always limit the portions you eat.
Step 3. Try to avoid baked or fried foods
In addition to limiting certain types of food, pay attention to how the food you consume is processed. In fact, eating baked or grilled foods can increase your risk of colon cancer!
- Cooking food by grilling or grilling it runs the risk of scorching and/or blackening the surface of the food. Although the taste may be more delicious, the blackened part can produce carcinogenic substances that are at high risk of causing colon cancer.
- When baking or grilling food, try not to burn or blacken the surface of the food. When going to eat it, first remove the burnt or blackened part using a fork or knife.
- Another tip you can do is to bake or cook food wrapped in aluminum foil. Thus, the food will not burn or burn so that your health will be more awake.
Step 4. Limit your alcohol consumption
In addition to sugary drinks, drinks that contain alcohol are also at risk of forming colonic polyps, so they must be strictly limited.
- Research shows that consuming more than two glasses of alcohol a day can increase the risk of colon polyps forming.
- In addition, someone who has had colonic polyps has a higher risk of developing colon cancer if alcohol consumption is not restricted.
- Try to limit your alcohol consumption. In fact, women should not consume more than one glass of alcohol per day. Meanwhile, men should only consume two glasses of alcohol per day or less.
- If you have a history of colon polyps, immediately adjust your diet according to the doctor's advice to prevent the disorder from happening again.
- Evaluate diet gradually. In other words, start avoiding foods that can increase the risk of polyps forming in your body.