March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women. There is currently a screening for the disease that can ID the cancer. Risk factors of Colon Cancer include age, race, diet, exercise, smoking, diabetes, family history and personal history of polyps or colon problems. Every individual over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy test performed.
It seems that while there is a screening for this cancer there are certain factors that stop individuals from being tested. Whether it be embarrassment, fear of pain or scared the doctor may find something individuals refuse to be screened. Screenings are the best way to stop colon cancer in its tracks as early stages of colon cancer have practically no symptoms and can go unnoticed until the cancer is more advanced. Symptoms include bleeding or blood in your stool, a consistent change in your bowel habits including diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain or bloating and unexplained weight loss. Persistent bowel problems or other concerning symptoms are considered items to discuss with your doctor as well as a possible gastroenterologist.
Symptoms that are apparent may call for screening before the age of 50. Early stages of cancer results are higher in survival route. This March take a stand do not delay screening or talking with your doctor about your symptoms any longer. Take an active role in your health care and do something to make a difference in your own life as well as the statistics.
Is colon cleansing needed? Many debate over this procedure. The conventional medical fraternity disagrees with colon cleansing. Those with a more holistic health lifestyle and pursuing natural health believe that colon cleansing is beneficial. There are several foods that can help with colon cleaning and not hurt you either. In the end these foods have a healthy benefit.
A diet high in fiber is awesome for keeping your digestive system in good working order. Fiber holds moisture in the colon which helps to soften any stools and makes them easier to pass. It also helps to clean away rubbish from your colon. Soluble fiber that dissolves in water helps to increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and minimize harmful bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to prevent and get rid of constipation. Flaxseed and Oats are strong sources of fiber.
Apples are great to include in your diet. While "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old saying the truth is that they can. Apples are included in supplements that are sold in health food stores or herbal medicine to help cleanse the colon. Why not just enjoy an apple that nature provided for you. Apple in forms of juice , extract, or apple cider make excellent colon cleansers. Reason being apples are strong forces of fiber and contain pectin as well. Pectin is a carbohydrate compound that acts as thickening agent in your gut that helps carry food to your digestive system. Apples pack nicely in you lunch container, your pocket or in your hand there fore they make a perfect snack food as well.
Celery has the ability to be recognized as a colon cleanser. High in dietary fiber and a food that is easy to take where ever you go celery is one of the perfect colon cleansers as well. Your digestive system also uses more calories to process celery than there are calories in celery. Munching on celery helps keep your tummy full and there is only 8 calories a stick.
Homemade Cream of Celery Soup
: The Daring Gourmet, www.daringgourmet.com
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups very finely chopped good quality, flavorful celery (about 5 large stalks, organic recommended for optimal flavor).
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1½ cups good quality chicken broth
- 1½ cups whole milk (or use ¾ cup milk and ¾ cup cream for even tastier results)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the onions, celery and garlic until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth and milk/cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- If using as a base for other recipes, this soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.
One batch of this soup is roughly the equivalent (in quantity) of 2 cans prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup ("prepared" meaning 2 cans of added milk). Enjoy as a stand-alone soup or use in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup.