This is a dirty job, but someone has to talk about it.
The colon, or your large intestine, is at the end of the digestive system and it serves as the body’s waste collector, which means that it’s where your poop is formed.
After your stomach, food moves through your small intestine where it breaks down and absorbs nutrients. The leftover indigestible matter moves into your colon, where it gathers minerals, absorbs and releases water, and breaks down further.
At the very end of the colon is the rectum, which actually stores the waste and then when it’s ready muscle moves the waste out of the body.
This is a major detox system in your body, so you want to make sure to keep a healthy colon or your body may not be able to effectively eliminate the bacteria and toxins from your body along with your stool.
Keep a Healthy Colon
Our bodies are incredible. They heal themselves and they’re pretty forgiving of the occasional indiscretion. That being said, if we overload them with a steady diet of caffeine, sugar, white flour, fats, processed foods and fried foods, there’s a pretty good chance we’re not the healthiest we can be.
In general, the key to a healthy colon is good diet. That means leafy greens, lots of whole fruits and veggies, and a good amount of fiber. Adding ground flax seeds and chia is an effective way to add good fiber to your diet that will help clean your insides.
Drinking more water can also help keep your colon clean. Your body uses water to help the texture of your stool and to remove some minerals, like sodium, from your body. Although most water balance happens in your kidneys, staying hydrated is a crucial part of every elimination system our bodies have. Imagine how well your toilet would flush if there wasn’t water? Well, your colon needs water to flush out waste, too.
Adding lemon to your water. Now that you’re staying hydrated, adding lemon to your water can help your cleanse. It’s a little indirect but lemon water is great to help boost your liver’s ability to pull out toxins, which go into your colon to be excreted. This is sort of a cyclic bodily function. The better that the digestive system is working, the more effective the colon can be. The more effective the colon, the healthier you are.
A Colon Cleanse
If you’re ready to start your new path towards a health colon, it’s great to mark the beginning with a gentle colon cleanse.
Now, we’re not telling you to go get a colonic (although we’re not suggesting that you don’t, it’s really up to you) but we are suggesting that spending a week or two actively focusing on your colon health could be just what you need.
Note that this type of cleanse stimulates colon activity, so you may not want to be too far away from a bathroom—this isn’t a time to plan a long road trip. Try a stay-cation instead.
One way you can do this is to head to your local health store and find a detox kits that is specifically designed for colon cleanse. Follow those directions precisely for best results. If that seems intense and you want a few tips about making your own cleanse, we’ve got you covered.
Tips for a Gentle Colon Cleanse
Timing: One week. You can always extend it.
This topic will always go back to your diet. For the time you’re cleansing, have oatmeal or chia pudding for breakfast, a healthy smoothie (not a juice, you should have fiber) for lunch, and a soup for dinner. If you need a snack, have applesauce or yogurt—you want to eat food that keeps you high in nutrients but doesn’t take a lot of energy to break down.
Drink Aloe. In most health food stores you’ll be able to find an aloe drink or an aloe detox product. Start there. Drink once aloe drink per day or follow the instructions on the aloe product It works as a really gentle laxative and a hydrator so it will help create bulk in your colon.
Psyllium husk. This is the ultimate bulking fiber to physically clean out your colon. The only catch is that you have use it right. Psyllium husk needs be followed with a lot of water. Every product is a little different, read the label when you make your purchase.
Make yourself a tea. Lemon, ginger, cayenne, and fennel. This will help to stimulate your digestion and cleanse throughout your body.
Use Garlic. Those soups you’re making for dinner? Load them up with garlic if you can. The active components help move blood and work to help cleanse your body of harmful bacteria.
Take a bitter. Bitters stimulate your whole digestive system to run more efficiently, if your body can effectively break down food in the upper and lower gi, you’re much more likely to have a healthy colon.
Once you start the colon cleanse process, make sure that you complete it. Schedule a colon gentle cleanse twice a year, just to keep everything flowing smoothly.
Do you have any colon cleanse tips? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclosure: While Kevin Terrero is certified by the NCCPT as a Personal Trainer, this article is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered medical advice. If you are in need of medical advice, please seek the appropriate medical counsel.