Here is the third and final part of Dr. Vilma Brunhuber’s detailed look at the best way to look after your colon and aid your digestive system.

7. Prebiotics and probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics can help foster the health of our gut. I highly recommend using raw fermented vegetables and other raw fermented foods (not pasteurized), which are a rich source of beneficial bacteria, therapeutically to heal and restore health in your gut.

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Experts recommend eating about a quarter to half a cup (2 to 4 oz) of fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut) or other cultured food, such as raw yoghurt, with one to three meals per day.

I personally consume about 4-8 ounces nearly every day, as I believe they are one of the healthiest superfoods for your gut available.

Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr, physician and former member of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, uses probiotics to treat irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema – even PMS. Says Pizzorno, “It’s unusual for me to see a patient with a chronic disease that doesn’t respond to probiotics.”

Prebiotics are typically non-digestible fiber. See above how to get the most of the fiber with food.

8. Vitamin D

Recent studies have found that calcium and vitamin D may be associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer.

Great dietary sources of calcium include leafy greens such as spinach, kale and spring (collard) greens.

You can get Vitamin D from a variety of sources including the sun and foods like fatty fish.

Unfortunately most of the people are low on natural vitamin D, so I usually suggest supplementing it. How much of it will depend on your individual blood levels. It takes a simple blood test (25 Hydroxy Vit D) to check vitamin D levels.

9. Hold the sugar and processed foods

colon health_2Convenience foods are often preservative-dense and nutrient-deficient and together with sugar promote the growth of pathogens – bad bugs – thereby hampering the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

They might be canned, frozen or dehydrated. They frequently contain trans fats, and high levels of sodium and sugar.

10. Limit red meat consumption

Although the results vary, studies [3] from around the world have suggested that a high consumption of meat is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. In all cases the worry is confined to red meat.

The US study showed that a high consumption of red and processed meats was linked with a substantial increase in the risk of cancer in the lower colon and rectum.

According to the ACS, the risk of colon cancer increases by 15 to 20 percent if you consume 100 grams of red meat per day.

The study from England showed that large amounts of red meat can produce genetic damage to colon cells in just a few weeks, but it does not prove that red meat causes cancer. None of the cells were malignant and the body has a series of mechanisms to repair damaged DNA.

Still, the research fits with earlier epidemiologic data raising a red flag about red meat.

Instead of counting on your body to repair your damaged DNA, do everything you can to prevent damage in the first place.

Your lifestyle – your diet, medications, the antibacterial cleansers you use and other factors outside your control – are working together to compromise the number of lifesaving friendly bacteria in your digestive system.

Maintaining a good balance of gut bacteria through diet and regular probiotic supplementation is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of remaining healthy and vital for a lifetime.

Connect with Expert Dr. Vilma Brunhuber 

References:

[3] Harvard Health Publications

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