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Food For Colon Cancer Recovery And Prevention

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Oct 04, 2022

Food For Colon Cancer Recovery And Prevention

Diet is crucial to your health, especially as your colon has a significant impact on your digestive system. The digestive system, as you may know, processes and distributes nutrients throughout your body to keep you strong and healthy. In light of this, eating properly and maintaining a nutritious diet is one of the best ways to prepare for and recover from colon cancer treatments. What is good food for colon cancer recovery?

Food for Colon Cancer Recovery

Here are some crucial recommendations for developing a diet that will assist in keeping the best colon health possible both before and after treatment.

Healthy lifestyle

Being in a healthy weight range, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and consuming alcohol in moderation can all help people reduce their risk of having the disease by more than a third. 

Consuming dairy

According to the third expert assessment from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, dairy products significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Supplemental calcium may also be beneficial.

The best course of action for you should be discussed with your doctor. More research is needed, but vitamin D, which is added to milk, may also help against this type of cancer. The majority of studies agree that consuming calcium-rich dairy products can lower your risk of getting colon growths called adenomas.

Dairy products may also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in a variety of ways involving various dairy components.


There is evidence that eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes can help reduce the risk of getting cancer. According to the American institute for Cancer Research, there is strong evidence that eating at least three servings of whole grains each day lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Whole grain consumption has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Fruits and vegetables

Cancer organizations advise eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables because they contain natural substances (phytochemicals) that may prevent the growth of cancer cells or reduce inflammation, which can feed cancer. Your best bets include vitamin-rich foods like oranges, broccoli, and cabbage. 


The dry common bean, or Phaseolus vulgaris, is a well-known legume that is used all over the world. It is a rich source of high protein (23 percent), complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and a few vitamins and minerals. Eating beans has been linked to a lower risk of developing a number of chronic and degenerative illnesses, including cancer, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions.

A practical way for consumers to improve their health and lower their risk of cancer is by increasing their daily intake. Epidemiological and preclinical research on colon, breast, prostate, and mammary cancers, as well as colon, breast, and prostate cancers, has provided more evidence for the link between bean consumption and the risk of developing cancer.


The heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty foods like salmon, may also slow the growth of cancer cells. But it is unclear if eating fish can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. However, limit your intake of king mackerel, shark, tilefish, swordfish, and tuna because they may contain toxins like mercury, which over time can be harmful.

Consume less red meat

Your taste buds might be tempted by a juicy hamburger fresh off the grill, but your intestines might not be. Researchers do not know why eating red meat, which includes beef, pork, and lamb, increases your risk of colon cancer. High-temperature cooking of meat may release chemicals that cause cancer, or the meat itself may be the problem. If you’re to consume meat, aim for fewer than 18 ounces each week.

What to Eat and Drink Before Colon Cancer Surgery

The things you should avoid will vary depending on whether you’re on a low-fiber or soft diet. But if you’re on a low-fiber diet, you must avoid the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Any drinks made with fruit or vegetable pulp
  • Anything purple, orange, or red
  • Anything produced with whole-grain flour, bran, seeds, nuts, or coconut in bread, cereals, pastries, or desserts
  • Stale food
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereals with whole grains, bran, or granola
  • Any cereals that contain coconut, nuts, or seeds
  • Potatoes that are not sweet or white
  • Potatoes with skin, if any
  • Any meats that are deep-fried or battered with entire grains
  • Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes
  • Granular peanut butter
  • Spices, such as cajun or hot sauce

Foods to Eat After Colon Surgery

Before starting a “regular diet,” it’s important to take good care of your colon after surgery. You must give your body enough time to heal and recover. Being cautious can reduce the risk of experiencing nausea, food intolerances, and other unfavorable side effects that frequently accompany colon surgery.

In the beginning, you may stick to a clear liquid and low-fiber diet plan until you are ready to experiment with full liquids. Creamy soups, dairy, milkshakes, puddings, and ice cream are examples of full liquids.

When reintroducing new foods, it is best to wait one to two hours for your meal to fully digest before trying anything else; that way, if you feel sick afterward, you will have time to recover.

You should continue to follow the low-fiber diet, as described above, once you have been released from the hospital. Always consult your doctor regarding dietary changes.

How long to keep on a low-fiber diet after colon surgery? Nutrient-dense, low-fiber meals are some of the healthiest things you can eat following colon surgery. As opposed to eating three large meals throughout the day, eating four to six smaller meals throughout the day may be easier for you. This will lessen the strain on your intestines.

Take it slow and easy on yourself. Your healthcare team will likely advise you to follow a low-fiber diet for one month after your operation. Once a month has passed since your treatment, you may begin gradually reintroducing other foods into your diet with the advice of your doctor.

Key Takeaways

Following your doctor’s orders are essential to creating the best surgical conditions, if you are opting for surgery as part of treatment. Your healthcare provider will outline the instructions for what to expect and do, before and after treatment surgery.

Since your colon plays a very important part in your digestive system, it is important to get enough nutrition before and after surgery. Always consult your doctor on better ways to take care of your colon and prevent any unnecessary digestive strain.

Learn more about Colon Cancer here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

John Paul Abrina, MD

Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Oct 04, 2022

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