Perhaps you don’t often spare a thought to your colon. You should, because the health of your intestines has a dramatic effect on your energy level and overall wellbeing. You may not realise that the average person has approximately 6 pounds of microorganisms in their digestive tract. There is some bacteria, fungi and other organisms. They are there for a reason; they perform several important functions and you would not survive without them.
The problem is, modern diets, stress, antibiotics, constipation and other factors have the power to radically shift the balance between good and bad organisms. Bad bacteria produce toxins that are able to gain entry into your bloodstream through the gut lining. The most harmful of these toxins is called lipopolysaccharide and it is produced by gram negative bacteria.
Cleansing your intestines can help reduce harmful toxins present in the digestive tract and heal the lining of the mucous membranes. This will improve the ability of the intestines to absorb important nutrients into the bloodstream, such as vitamins and minerals. It will also reduce the ability of toxins and wastes and food allergens to seep across the intestinal lining and be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Cleansing your colon does not have to be complicated or expensive.
The best foods for a clean and healthy colon
Flaxseeds are high in a very soothing type of fiber called mucilage. It provides a protective coating over the digestive tract and can help to heal inflammation or irritation of the entire digestive tract. Flaxseeds can even help to prevent bowel cancer. Research conducted at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, South Dakota State University showed that flaxseeds significantly decreased tumor growth in the small and large intestines of animals. The fiber in flaxseeds helps to clean the walls of the colon and remove toxins in bowel actions.
You will obtain most benefits from flaxseeds if you grind them yourself in a coffee or spice grinder until they become a soft powder. In this way they can be added to smoothies, cereal, porridge, yoghurt, or just sprinkled over a fruit salad. They have a delicious nutty taste.
Okra is a vegetable that you may never have heard of. It is commonly found in Indian and Greek cuisine. Okra needs to be cooked before consumption and if you’ve ever eaten it, you would have noticed how slippery and slimy it is. The texture turns a lot of people off but that’s precisely where its benefits lay. Okra is excellent for pain and inflammation in the digestive tract, as well as diarrhea.
Aloe vera is a cactus with many benefits to the bowel. You can grow aloe vera yourself at home and add some of the inner flesh to your juices or smoothies, or you can purchase aloe vera extract from health food stores. The nutrients and natural fiber in aloe vera aid in removing built up and impacted waste in the bowels. It is also very good for ulcers or inflammation in the stomach or intestines.
Bone broth is also known as home made stock. If you slowly simmer bones, joints, marrow and cartilage in water for approximately 8 to 12 hours, the jelly-like substance that dissolves into the water has enormous healing powers for the digestive tract. The mucilaginous liquid in the broth also nourishes the immune cells that live within the intestines. Bone broth is an excellent remedy for healing leaky gut. It is extremely inexpensive and delicious. There are many recipes and instructions for making it on the internet.
Pectin is a type of fiber, found in high quantities in apples, citrus fruits, onions and a few other vegetables. It has a jelly-like consistency and is actually added to some foods, including jam, where it acts as a gelling agent. Pectin absorbs water in the intestines, where it swells and helps to soften the stool. Pectin can also help to absorb heavy metals and bacterial toxins and carry them out of the body in the stool. Supplementing with pectin can help you achieve a thorough cleansing of your intestinal tract. Pectin is found in Colon Detox capsules.
Psyllium is an herb that grows mainly in India. It is extremely high in soluble fiber, which expands and forms a jell-like mass inside your intestines once you’ve consumed it. Psyllium helps to absorb impurities and carry them out of your body, but the fiber in psyllium also helps to scrub your colon clean as it passes through. Because it swells up in your intestines, psyllium also helps to make you feel full, and in this way aids weight loss. Psyllium can be sprinkled on food but many people do not like the taste and texture. Psyllium is also found in Colon Detox capsules. A good dose to take is 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. Make sure you drink approximately 8 glasses of water or mugs of herbal tea each day, as this will facilitate the bowel cleansing action.
For more information on colon cleansing, see my book The Ultimate Detox.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Nutrition and Cancer; Effects of Dietary Flaxseed on Intestinal Tumorigenesis in Apc(Min) Mouse; A. Bommareddy, et al.; 2009