You may have seen in the last couple of weeks our ‘Healthy Bowel, Happy Bowel’ campaign. That’s because April is recognised as Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.
The aim of the campaign is to make Islanders aware of the small and healthy changes they can make to their diet to prevent bowel cancer and other diseases.
These easy changes can make a whole lot of difference and if you’re looking for a simple way to keep your bowel happy and healthy, you should look no further than your plate!
TOP TIPS FOR GOOD BOWEL HEALTH
You should aim to have half of your plate filled with fruit and veg, while the other half is split equally between protein sources and starchy foods.
Some simple tips to eat well include:
- Having at least 5 portions of fruit and veg each day
- Eat fish, chicken, eggs, meat substitutes such as, tofu, Quorn®, lentils, or beans but limit red meat and avoid processed meat
- Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; try to choose wholegrain varieties whenever you can
- Try to limit food and drink high in fat, salt, or sugar, such as cakes, crisps, sweets, and fizzy drinks
Fibre & Hydration
Eating a diet rich in fibre, which includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains as well as staying hydrated, has a significant positive impact on your bowel health.
You could try:
- Porridge with fruit for breakfast
- Wholegrain sandwiches for lunch
- Including beans with your dinners
- Snacking on nuts/seeds, fruit and vegetables
Adding linseed to your yoghurt. You should aim to drink 6-8 glasses (1.6 to 2 litres) of water daily to keep hydrated
Limiting fibre intake would be recommended in some circumstances such as bowel obstruction. For some medical conditions such as diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease you might need to alter your fibre intake depending on your symptoms/flare ups. Please speak to your health professional for advice regarding this.
Physical activity and a healthy weight
Being more physically active is linked with lower risk of bowel cancer. Being active can contribute to help you keep a healthy body weight and helps you feel good.
Alcohol and smoking
Alcohol is linked to seven types of cancer including bowel cancer.
If you do drink alcohol, keep it as low as possible with an upper limit of no more than 14 units a week. But the less you drink the lower your risk of cancer.
Smoking causes at least 15 different types of cancer and increases your risk of bowel cancer.
If you are considering quitting smoking altogether, the Help2Quit service offers FREE confidential and specialist support, and you are 3 times more likely to stop smoking for good than if you do it alone.
To make an appointment:
• Go to www.gov.je/help2quit
• Email Help2Quit@health.gov.je
• Call free on 0800 735 1155
Most importantly, have fun with experiencing different foods and look forward to making your bowel bacteria happy!
Visit gov.je/healthyeating for more tips on healthy eating and eating healthily on a budget.