It is imperative that when we look to eat healthy we find items that are healthy and nourishing for our bodies. This month is colon cancer awareness month and one of the great things that we can do to help our our bodies is to ensure that we are feeding our digestive tract properly. A healthy gut is good for our immune system, and this does not mean just diet and exercise. It is also imperative for colon and gut health and if needed weight loss.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the association between obesity and increased colon cancer risk may be due to multiple factors, including increased levels of insulin in the blood, a condition that may occur more often in obese individuals. Increases in insulin and associated conditions such as insulin resistance may promote the development of certain tumors, including those in the colon. (1)
The American Cancer Society reports that the links between diet, weight, exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. In fact, an estimated 50 to 75 percent of colorectal cancer can be prevented through lifestyle changes like healthy eating, according to the Colon Cancer Foundation.
Fewer than 10 percent of colon cancers are hereditary, which means a lot of it is lifestyle,” says Heather Rasmussen, PhD, a registered dietitian at Rush. “Therefore, good nutrition is an important aspect of good colon health.”(1)
With this information what better class to talk about colon health than our monthly weight loss support group! Tonight we focused on the benefits of fiber for your colon. Fiber is found in fruits vegetables and grains. When picking grains go for ancient grains that are not as processed as our white rice of today. Millet, quinoa, farro and barley are a great addition to any dish. Tonight we cooked up some brown rice and barley pilaf. Add some sauteed spinach and nuts to really pack on the fiber.
Eating Healthy for a Colon:www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/eating-healthy-colon
Brown Rice and Barley Pilaf
1 C Brown Rice
½ C Barley
2 ½ C Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 C Spinach
½ C walnuts
½ C. Craisins
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
In a saute pan heat oil. Next add Spinach and cook for one minute. Add garlic, rice and barley and saute for 1-2 minutes making sure not to burn garlic. Add chicken broth and cook about 20 minutes. Lastly toss in the walnuts and craisins. Serve on the side of fish or chicken dishes.