Eat This Leafy Green for Your Colon

Medically reviewed in July 2021

Keep your colon polyp-free by using this leafy green in your fresh summer salads: spinach.

This dark leafy green is loaded with magnesium—and a Japanese study suggests that getting enough magnesium may be crucial when it comes to curbing the risk of colon cancer.

Calling all colon helpers
In the study, men with the highest dietary intakes of magnesium were much less likely to develop colon cancer compared with men who ate few magnesium-rich foods. Interestingly, this particular study did not show a similar benefit for women, although many other studies have concluded that colon cancer risk may be curbed in both genders with magnesium-rich foods. Not a fan of spinach? You can up your magnesium intake with halibut, almonds, cashews, soy or potatoes instead.

DNA protector
Magnesium may play a vital role in the synthesis and repair of cellular DNA—which could explain the colon cancer research results, since DNA damage can lead to the development of cancer cells within the colon. More research is needed to confirm the finding, though. Still, there are lots of other health reasons to add high-in-magnesium foods to your dinner plate—like keeping your immune system strong and your heart and muscles functioning properly.

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