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Foods that help the proper functioning of the colon

Proper food choices allow for proper colon function and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases associated with its poor functioning.
In this article we describe the importance of the colon for our health and we mention foods that help its proper functioning.

When we eat and digest food, its components are divided into simpler particles that are absorbed in the intestine; They then pass into the blood to be distributed to the different parts of the body to serve as an energy source. Our body is made of what we eat and what is not useful to us we eliminate as waste.

How important is the colon?

After the digestion process in the stomach, most of the nutrients, water, vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the small intestine. However, in the colon, also known as the large intestine:

- 10% of the water you drink and a significant amount of minerals such as sodium are absorbed.
- Minerals such as chlorine and potassium are secreted.

Some vitamins produced by intestinal bacteria are also absorbed in the final part of the intestine.
This is the case of vitamin K, thiamine and riboflavin.

The colon receives from the small intestine a semi-liquid substance composed of water, fiber and some minerals. For example, sodium is absorbed through the cells of the intestine, subsequently allowing the absorption of water, which finally moves to the blood capillaries. However, although it is in the colon where most sodium from the diet is absorbed, there is no direct relationship between excessive consumption of this nutrient and a change in colon function, as there is in other health conditions such as high blood pressure.

What foods are important for the proper functioning of the colon?

Taking into account the importance of the colon for the proper functioning of our body, it is worth highlighting the role of soluble fiber for intestinal transit. The presence of soluble fiber plays an important role so that the flow of colonic content is adequate. If the contents of the colon lack fiber, they will move more slowly and in the short term problems such as constipation will occur. In the long term, there will be a risk of colon cancer due to increased contact of carcinogenic substances with the internal part of the colon.

As the colon is responsible for propulsion, production of fecal matter and its subsequent elimination, any related problem, such as constipation or diarrhea, should include specific recommendations for food selection for treatment. For example, including more fiber in the diet will prevent constipation, 5 tablespoons of oats a day in different preparations and two to three servings of mixed vegetables are enough to obtain the amount of fiber that helps proper digestion and functioning of our colon. .

On the other hand, to manage diarrhea, we need a lower amount of sugar in the diet since an excessive amount of sugar inside the colon drags water from the blood capillaries that irrigate the colon, producing what is called diarrhea. osmotic, on the other hand, the consumption of fruits rich in pectin such as apples, peaches, pears and guavas are good options in case of diarrhea since they avoid the excessive carrying of water and other nutritional substances that, in case of loss, could lead us to a state of dehydration

In order of importance for the colon, the second nutrient is water. Maintaining good hydration is key for our colon to function well. We must remember that it is there where 10% of the water we require for our vital functions is absorbed. Fruits have a good supply of water and fiber. The water dissolved in the fiber of fruits is only absorbed in the colon, therefore, by ensuring a minimum consumption of 6 glasses of water a day we contribute to good hydration of our body.

Finally, foods that promote the renewal of the bacterial flora are recommended; For example, yogurts or fermented milks since they promote the production of vitamins. However, these dairy products must be skimmed to avoid additional intake of fats that are harmful to our health.


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