A toxic colon has been considered a major health hazard in natural health circles for many years. The strong emphasis on a clean healthy colon held by therapists working with Nature Cure has often been a source of ridicule by the orthodox medical field. This however is slowly changing, as medical research begins to connect the dots, and research is conducted demonstrating links between colon health and auto-immune disease, mood disorders and other complaints.
A clean colon ensures that the bloodstream and lymph are clean and healthy, which is vital if organs and systems are to be adequately nourished and drained. When the colon is clean, nutrients from food are absorbed efficiently and waste is not retained for too long.
How long should it take for food to move through your gut?
In a normal, healthy intestinal tract, food moves from stomach to anus in 12– 15 hours. If it stays in there longer than this, the faecal matter can ferment and/or putrefy resulting in irritation of the colon wall and absorption of toxins into the bloodstream.
Retained faecal waste can form hard lumps or sheets that remain stuck to the colon wall, or cause distensions/pockets (diverticuli) in the colon wall. This can create a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, a focal point for putrefaction, and can reduce peristaltic activity (the rhythmic waves that move food through your gut).
One bowel movement daily is not enough if you eat three meals a day!
A toxic bowel can be the cause of countless seemingly unrelated health problems, such as depression, dementia, inflammatory joint diseases, auto-immune diseases, digestive disorders and neurological disorders.
By restoring the efficiency of colon function and clearing out retained waste, there is clearness and lightness that is experienced physically, mentally and emotionally.
Symptoms of a toxic colon
Symptoms such as headaches, constipation, diarrhoea, candida, gas, bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain all point to abnormal health of the colon. One bowel movement daily is insufficient on a diet of three meals a day. When the faecal matter is retained for longer than twelve to fifteen hours, it can ferment and/or putrefy and you will absorb toxic by-products into your bloodstream. Who wants that?
The Gut-Brain Connection
Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety as well as neurological disorders such as autism and Parkinsons’s are linked to gut disorders, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine You have what they now call a “gut-brain” Your gut has its own nervous system, independent from your brain. This means that just as anxiety can affect your gut, causing loose stools or indigestion, your gut can also affect your brain! It works both ways!
Amazing facts about your gut-brain
Your gut produces neurotransmitters like serotonin (one of your “feel-good hormones) just like your brain – in fact, your gut produces 95% of the serotonin in your body!
Your “gut-brain” can operate independently from your brain
Your gut makes neurotransmitters that help control bone formation
Your gut is filled with nerve cells just like your brain
Your small intestine alone has 100 million neurons which are about the same amount as found in your spinal cord
Your brain receives more information from your gut than it sends to the gut
Problems in the gut can be the cause of anxiety, autism, depression and even Parkinsons disease
Your gut flora play a role in how your body responds to stress
How to restore the health of your gut
Drink enough water every day
Eat plenty of plant foods for the good fibre that aids regularity
Eat naturally fermented foods daily to make sure you have plenty of the “good guys” in there. Natural ferments are far superior to probiotic tablets and capsules
Rub your belly every day – with flat palms, in a clockwise motion (directionally as you look down at your belly) for several minutes, before sleep or on rising.
How Much Water You Need To Drink To Keep Your Colon Healthy
Drink 1/2 your body weight of water in ounces, daily.
Example 180 lb bodyweight = 90 oz (2.7 litres) of water daily. Divide that into 8oz (240ml) or 10 oz.(300ml) glasses and that’s how many glasses you will need to drink, daily.
Use 1/4 tsp. of salt in your meals for every quart (946ml, 32 oz, 4 cups) of water you drink. As long as you drink the water, you can use the salt.
It’s best to drink your water before breakfast and between meals, cool or warm, not chilled. Drink minimal water at mealtimes – it dilutes your digestive juices and therefore can reduce digestive efficiency.
Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. These are diuretics and will dehydrate you. Every 6 oz. of caffeine or alcohol requires an additional 10 (300ml) to 12 oz. of water to re-hydrate you.
The Best Plant Foods To Aid Regularity
Around 75% of your daily food intake should be fruit and vegetables. This satisfies your body’s constant need to maintain alkalinity as well as providing plenty of plant fibre for gut health.
The best plant foods for aiding gut regularity are linseed, chia seed, beetroot, pumpkin, sweet potato, prunes, figs, apples and lemon juice.
Naturally Fermented Foods To Boost Your Gut Flora
There are many simple natural ferments that you can make in your own kitchen that will provide you with healthy gut bacteria such as acidophilus, Bifidus and other friendly bacteria. A natural ferment contains much more than friendly bacteria. It also contains the L-lactic acid that keeps the pH of your gut in a healthy range.
Naturally fermented foods you can make yourself include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir (water and milk) and yoghurt. They are cheap to prepare and will save you many dollars otherwise spent on expensive probiotic supplements.