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Healthy foods = healthy colon

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Multiple studies show the cancer fighting benefits of certain foods, and this is certainly true when it comes to colon cancer.

"Your food digests through that area, so how ever you can keep your colon healthy will help keep everything... moving in the right direction," says Maggie Rattelle, a Registered Dietician Nutritionist at of St. Mary's Saginaw.

If you asked most people what they think they should eat for a healthy colon, they would probably say one word: fiber. But, Ratelle says, you have to put a few more things in your plate if you want to fend off colon cancer. Fiber alone will not do the trick.

"Absolutely not. I think the overall balance in all of your macro-nutrients that you eat, in order to have a healthy, well balanced diet. You definitely have to have the right kind of protein- lean protien. You also want a diet with carbohydrates lower in sugar. You want to do the complex carbohydrates."

Make no mistake, high fiber foods like whole grains, leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower, apples, oranges, and other produce are all essential to a well-rounded cancer fighting diet. Nuts and beans are also good fiber sources.

Ratelle says you need other foods to maximize fiber's benefits, "So, choosing the healthy fats, choosing lean protein, and incorporating the fruits and vegetables that have the fiber will then get you a well balanced diet."

Yes, she said fats! Look for healthy fats, like Omega 3's, found in fish. Avoid saturated fats, like butter, cream, sausage and anything cooked in lard. If you have any question, just look at food labels.

Maggie cautions that diet alone is not enough, either; you have to also get regular exercise, "Movement always encourages your muscles to move in your body which also includes your colon."

by the way, nuts and beans are also great sources of fiber.

march is colo-rectal cancer awareness month.

regular screenigs should start by the time you turn 50.

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