A healthy colon is about five feet long, two and a half inches in diameter, and weighs two to three pounds. The average American’s colon weighs ten to fifteen pounds. It is not uncommon for an unhealthy colon to weigh up to 60 pounds. When John Wayne died, the autopsy reported was said to reveal that his colon weighed between 70-80 pounds. The colon’s main function is to remove water from the chyme (digesting food particles) and bulk up the stool. Friendly bacteria continue to further break down any partially digested food/meat substances. Friendly bacteria make nutrients such as vitamin K and some of the B vitamins. Your colon should eliminate its contents every 8-12 hours. Ideally, your stool should be a foot long, 1 inch around, and partially floating.
Caffeine – Foods containing caffeine can trigger acid reflux, as it relaxes the esophageal sphincter — the flap that keeps what you’ve eaten down in your stomach — causing food to come back up into the esophagus. What about coffee, which is high in caffeine yet always seems to help us “go?” Coffee is powerful for triggering peristalsis — the term for movement of food through the intestines — it does contain caffeine, which means it can still cause reflux. But it could help someone who is struggling with constipation. Remember, coffee over caffeine.
Spicy Foods – Spicy foods can be bad for digestion because they may trigger acid reflux symptoms for some people. Spicy foods are good for some other things like your sinuses and even weight control, but overdoing it on the hot spices, especially later in life can leave your colon in need of some help.
Raw Carrots (Well, Kind Of) – Notice we said “kind of” because there is an exception. There’s something about the way you eat raw carrots that makes a difference on your stomach. For many, when you eat a lot of raw carrots without chewing properly, it can make you feel nauseous for a few hours because the way carrots break down in your stomach. However, when you chew it very fine before swallowing, there’s a much lower chance of it happening because of it properly breaking down in your stomach. Also, cooking it so that it’s soft completely gets rid of the problem.
White Flour – It literally acts like glue inside your colon. Just imagine that old-school, white Elmer’s glue you used to use in school in a tube. So every time your food flows through the cylinder shape, parts of the food get stuck on that glue. Some whole grains do this as well. Be sure to monitor how your body reacts and stay away from too much white flour.
Cow’s Milk – Dairy is the most mucus-forming substance you could put in your mouth. Diets how in cow’s milk consumption have been linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and some cases of Chrone’s Disease. In contrast, diets that primarily provide vegetable sources of protein result in lower amounts of hydrogen sulfide in the colon and have been associated with a decreased risk of Crohn’s disease.
For more on what you can do to fight colon cancer, click here.