Your colon: It serves as a massive storage space for waste until its expelled.1 Not the most pleasant thought, but a healthy colon is key. Ever wonder what happens when there’s a ‘plumbing’ issue in your body?
Well, all sorts of issues – but the most obvious side effects of a “backed-up colon” are digestive problems and possible weight gain.
On the other hand, a “clean colon” may promote weight loss.
It can also help with conditions such as constipation.2 Many people say cleansing their colon helps them feel healthier as it removes waste all at once.
There are lots of approaches to cleaning your colon. Some people opt for colonic irrigation. This is a water flushing performed by a medical professional.
However, you can cleanse your colon at home, naturally with these inexpensive (or free) techniques:
Fiber helps digestion by adding bulk to stool and pushing waste through the colon.
Consuming fiber is an easy way to keep your colon clean and functioning. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough daily fiber to do the job.
According to the Institute of Medicine…
- Men age 50 and younger need 38 grams of fiber daily.
- Men 51 and older need 30 grams.
- Women ages 50 and younger need 25 grams.
- Women over 50 need 21 grams.
Can you guess how much we actually get in our diets?
Most Americans average just 16 grams of fiber per day. This is well below the amount needed for peak colon functioning.4
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are high in dietary fiber. Many types of fiber supplements are also available — which could be the most effective way to cleanse the colon quickly. Prebiotic supplements (made from vegetable-based fiber) also work wonders at cleaning out the colon. Be it fiber or prebiotic supplements, talk to your doctor about dosage and the best brands to use.
An estimated 75 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water.5 Dehydration can leave your colon sluggish and lead to constipation.6 Your colon needs water to push through waste. Men should aim to drink at least 13 cups of water or other beverages (aside from caffeine and alcohol) each day. Women should drink nine total cups. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, and keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
Salt Water Flush
Water mixed with sea salt can help you cleanse your colon. To try this method, start with an empty stomach. Many people like to do a salt water flush first thing in the morning. Use a liter of lukewarm water mixed with two teaspoons of sea salt. After dissolving the sea salt in the water, drink the entire solution. As the salt water moves through your colon, you’ll feel the need to use the bathroom.
Prunes, or dried plums, have long been a natural remedy for constipation and bowel problems. Research supports the idea that eating prunes is effective in dealing with constipation.8 Prunes soften stool, helping it to move through the colon. Why do they help? Because, they are high in fiber. They are also high in sorbitol, a naturally occurring sugar with laxative effects. For gentle colon cleansing, eat a few prunes each day, or drink a glass of no sugar added prune juice.
You’ve likely heard that probiotics are good for your health. These beneficial microorganisms can help with many aspects of health, including digestion. They are like the microorganisms already living in your gut – your gut microbiota. These microorganisms help you digest food and keep your colon clean.9
Probiotics are available in foods and as supplements. Some foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and tempeh. For a healthy gut diet, take a probiotic supplement, or eat a probiotic-rich food every day.
Many supplements are available to help cleanse your colon. Most contain some form of natural laxative. This may include psyllium fiber, cascara sagrada bark, or bentonite clay. Supplements are available as pills, powders, teas, or suppositories. Be sure to follow all package instructions. Also, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Green tea is good for your health in so many ways. It can help your body fight against serious health conditions.10 It may encourage weight loss, as well.11 Green tea also promotes healthy digestion and can help cleanse the bowels. It is full of antioxidants, which can help your body repair cell damage.12 Drink one to two cups of green tea daily.
There are many benefits to a clean colon, including better digestion and better health. Once your colon is clean, keep it healthy by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.