How to Cleanse Your Colon...Safely
Don't Turn to Dangerous Colon Cleanse Methods
By Suzanne Dixon, MPH, RD, About.com
Updated: July 24, 2009
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
Healthy Ways to Cleanse Your Colon
If you're wondering how to cleanse your colon, you may be looking for information on popular methods such as taking supplements, using laxatives, or visiting a colon cleansing clinic. However, these are potentially harmful to your health.
If you like the idea of "cleansing" your body, and of course, doing so safely, you need look no further than the produce and bulk food aisles of your local grocery store. Part of why so many people are plagued with a bloated, constipated feeling, the very feeling that leads them to consider colon cleansing, is poor diet. Without proper nutrients, natural whole foods, and plenty of fiber and water, the digestive tract doesn’t function so well. Ditto for exercise.
If you want to improve your colon health, give the following a try:
- Increase the servings of vegetables and fruit you eat each day. Aim for 8 to 10 servings daily. This may sound like a lot, but it’s doable. Add fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries to your morning cereal. Snack on vegetables dipped in hummus, or fruit plus a handful of nuts.
Make all your grains whole grains. Don’t be fooled by color – just because bread is brown, does not mean it’s whole grain. Look for the word “enriched” in the ingredient list. If you see this word, it’s not whole grain.
- Focus on adding non-bread sources of whole grains to your diet, too, such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, millet, rye, spelt, buckwheat, amaranth, or other new-to-you foods.
Try "flipping" the food pyramid. You may be familiar with the food pyramid, which shows grains as the foundation. Instead, make fruits and vegetables the foundation of your diet, followed by grains, then protein foods (beans, fish, eggs, poultry, meat). Make sweets just an occasional treat.
- Flax-i-fy your diet. Ground flaxseeds are one of the best ways to improve laxation. What does that mean? It means that flaxseeds help move stool out of your system. Try ground flax sprinkled on your cereal, salads, oatmeal, or yogurt. This is one of the single most effective ways to improve your body’s ability to eliminate waste.
- Drink more water. Water, plain and simple, will make everything in your body function better, including your digestion and elimination. Don’t worry about the old advice -- eight, 8-ounce glasses a day. Instead, use the color of your urine as a guide. If it’s pale yellow or straw-colored, you’re getting enough water. If it’s any darker than this, drink up!
If you make just a few of these changes, your colon, and your body, will thank you.
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