Why Avoid Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Before a Colonoscopy?

Fruits and vegetables must be avoided during preparation for a colonoscopy.
Fruits and vegetables must be avoided during preparation for a colonoscopy. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of thebittenword.com)

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure which examines the colon for signs of cancer. Proper preparation before a colonoscopy is important in order to receive accurate results.

Purpose of the Diet

The large intestine includes the colon and the rectum. The goal of the special diet is to clear the entire large intestine of solid matter.


Fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fiber. According to the Harvard School of Public health, fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t digest. The insoluble fibers in fruits and vegetables absorb water, increasing the size of the stool.

Small Intestine

The small intestine processes proteins and fats, absorbing amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The digestion process then continues as the food moves into the large intestine.

Large Intestine

The large intestine processes the fiber from fruits and vegetables, producing nutrients. Food can spend six to 73 hours in the large intestine.


During a colonoscopy, a small flexible tube with a camera inside is passed through the large intestine. If the intestine is not completely empty, the doctor will not be able to get a clear view of the intestinal lining).

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