Are digestive troubles like constipation, bloating, and smelly gas part of your everyday reality? If your gut health is in need of a serious reset before the holidays, read on!
Research suggests that approximately 15% of American adults suffer from chronic constipation. Luckily, there are some simple ways to "get things moving" and feel lighter, more energetic, and more regular.
We're sure you've heard by now that good gut health is the golden ticket to radiant health, impacting almost every area of your wellness. This includes your digestive health, mental clarity, energy levels, the appearance of your skin, and so much more.
When your digestive health is really suffering, it can make your life pretty miserable. Whether you're actively planning your schedule around your unpredictable bowels, or curled up in agony after a simple meal, it's safe to say that this is no way to live.
One of the most important factors to take into account when addressing ongoing digestive troubles is your colon. Let's have a closer look into why colon health deserves your attention and what that means for your wellness and longevity.
Why is your colon so important?
After you eat, your food begins its journey through your small intestine, where important vitamins and nutrients are absorbed. It is then passed on to your colon, also known as the large intestine (or large bowel). From here, the colon uses muscular contractions to help move waste to the final stage of elimination from your body (AKA a bowel movement).
Believe it or not, many of us completely overlook colon health for far too long. Your colon is a vitally important organ not just to your digestive system, but to your entire body's health.
The colon is an essential part of your digestive tract, and is the final section in your digestive system. Part of your large intestine, it has many important functions, including aiding in the elimination of stool, absorbing water from digested food, maintaining a healthy pH, fighting off harmful bacteria, and extracting salt and water from waste.
How do I know if my colon is functioning properly?
When the colon isn't functioning properly, it leads to a "backup" (think clogged pipes) that can cause a buildup of toxins in the colon and prevent waste from properly being expelled from your body. This can lead to a whole slew of problems! Luckily, your body is a highly intelligent system and it will send you signals when your colon is in need of some urgent help.
Here are just a few common signs that your colon may not be functioning properly:
- Abdominal pain (pay attention to the left side)
- Abdominal tenderness
- Chronic constipation
- Persistent diarrhea
- Nausea or vomiting
- Bloody stools
- Weight loss and decreased appetite
- Persistent bloating
Paying attention to new symptoms in your body and keeping up to date with regular doctor's visits are important parts of keeping up with your colon health.
What is a colon cleanse?
One popular method that many people turn to in order to give their colons a helping hand is known as a colon cleanse. This well-known remedy is one that many swear by when it comes to resetting digestive health and removing toxins from the colon.
How can a colon cleanse help?
The main idea behind a colon cleanse is essentially to help "clear out" and detoxify the body and large intestine, and help foster the removal of backed up fecal matter and mucus that have become lodged in the colon. Although many people swear by this remedy, it's important to point out that the scientific research on the true effectiveness of colon cleanses is still largely lacking.
That's not to say there aren't positive aspects to a colon cleanse, but there is still much research to be done. That's why we're going to dig a bit deeper into this method, so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you believe this method may be the right choice for you.
Here are some of the believed benefits of a colon cleanse (Remember: these claims have not yet been scientifically proven):
- Relief from gastrointestinal distress
- More regular bowel movements and smoother digestion
- Removal of toxins, bacteria, and other parasites trapped in the colon
- Increased energy levels
- Possible assistance with weight loss
- Improved mood
Unfortunately, the most common type of colon cleanse is considered by many to not be the most pleasant of experiences, because it involves injecting fluid into the lower bowels through the rectum. Instead, we're going to look at some gentler ways you can promote better colon health at home, without the use of enemas. First, let's look at some of the potential risks and side effects.
What are the potential risks?
If you're considering trying a colon cleanse at home, it's important to always discuss possible risks and benefits with your doctor first. Similarly, if you suffer from a chronic illness or ongoing condition, it's very important not to make any major changes to your diet or lifestyle, or perform any at home colon cleansing methods without the approval of a medical professional.
This is because colon cleanses may not be suitable for everyone, and even though there are many at home products available over the counter, it doesn't mean that they don't come with possible risks.
For starters, performing colon cleanses too frequently can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, tearing of the colon, infections, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and more. It can also create changes in the natural bacteria of the colon.
You'll find that over the counter colon cleanse products come in oral forms, as well as enemas and colonic irrigations. It's always best to leave any intrusive procedures to be performed by a medical professional, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. If you experience any negative symptoms as a result of an at home colon cleanse, be sure to visit your doctor right away.
If you'd like to give your colon health an extra boost but aren't quite ready to jump into the deep end with options like those listed above, there are some alternative remedies you can also try at home! Here are just eight possible methods for supporting your colon naturally from home...
8 Ways To Naturally
Cleanse Your Colon At Home
1) Water flush
Drinking plenty of water each day is one of the surest ways to help your body stay hydrated, better regulate your digestion, and feel healthier overall. If you want to support your colon, you can try what is known as a "water flush," which is done by drinking 6-8 glasses of lukewarm water per day. This can be paired with eating more plant-based foods that are high in water content, such as watermelons, celery, tomatoes, and lettuce. Simply put, drink more water!
2) Herbal teas
Another method for naturally supporting your colon is to drink one to three cups of warm herbal tea per day. Herbal teas are a healthy, natural way to promote good digestive health, support hydration, and calm irritable bowels.
There are many types of herbal teas that are great for this purpose, such as ginger, peppermint, dandelion, and chamomile. There are also many variations of laxative teas and herbs, such as psyllium and senna, that can help ease constipation. However, it's important to consult with your physician to discuss these options first, since the overuse of laxative teas or herbal laxatives can cause serious harm to the body.
Increasing probiotics in your diet is an excellent way to improve digestive health and support your colon. Probiotic foods and supplements (like our Primal Probiotics) introduce more "good" gut bacteria to your microbiome with the assistance of fiber and resistant starches (known as prebiotics). This can help restore balance, promote regularity, and promote better inflammatory responses, all important aspects of a healthy colon.
Besides high-quality probiotic supplements, some of the probiotic foods and beverages that you can try adding more of to your diet include kombucha, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods.
4) Saltwater flush
If you suffer from constipation and irregular bowel movements, a saltwater flush may be a good option for you! This is done by mixing 2 teaspoons of sea salt of pink Himalayan salt into lukewarm water first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast. Simply drink this mixture on an empty stomach once in the morning and once in the evening. You might want to try this method while close to a restroom though, as you'll likely feel to urge to use it soon after.
This method may not be suitable for those with high blood pressure and or anyone who needs to keep their sodium intake low. Always speak to your doctor when in doubt.
5) High fiber juices and green smoothies
Try adding a fibrous, vitamin C-packed smoothie or green juice daily to your routine! A number of studies, such as 2015 study, have reported that vitamin C can help naturally cleanse the colon. Besides helping to keep your immune system strong, the vitamin C found in many fruits and vegetables is highly important to overall wellness in a number of different ways, and is a popular cleansing method.
Some popular juices for cleansing include high fiber options containing vitamin C, such as apple juice, lemon juice, and vegetable juices. Ginger and dark, leafy greens are amazing nutrient-packed choices as well!
In short, there tons of different options to choose from. Be sure to choose fresh pressed juices and discuss possible risks with your doctor before trying any type of liquid cleanse.
6) Leafy green vegetables
Fiber is an essential macronutrient that so many Americans are sorely lacking in their diets. Found in nutrient powerhouses like dark, leafy greens, as well as many grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and more, fiber is required for healthy digestion. Try adding more fibrous foods to your diet to give your colon health a boost (especially leafy green vegetables). This can help with supporting smoother digestion and more regular bowel movements.
7) Resistant starches
Similar to fiber, resistant starches can be great for natural colon cleansing. Found in whole plant foods like legumes, grains, potatoes, and rice, these healthy carbs can help get things moving in your intestines and leave you feeling lighter and more regular. For those on a low carb or low starch diet, speak to a medical professional to see how you can still enjoy the benefits of resistant starches in a way that fits your needs.
8) Postbiotic supplements
Have you heard of butyrate before? If you haven't, you're certainly not alone! Butyrate is the most closely studied form of "postbiotic" (yes, it's a real thing!) that is essentially the waste product of probiotics feeding on prebiotics.
Butyrate is vital for keeping the tightly boundly junctions in your gut barrier (intestinal walls) strong and resilient enough to keep toxins from leaking into your bloodstream (also known as leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal permeability).
Luckily, new emerging technology has found a way to include this postiotic in some high-quality gut supplements (like our Primal Gut Restore). One such example is known as CoreBiome®, the leading butyric acid (butyrate) supplement. With a powerful combination of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics, your colon will definitely be thanking you with more regular bowel movements and relief from gastrointestinal symptoms.
Did you enjoy learning about natural ways to cleanse your colon at home?
Now that you have the basic facts about your colon and why it's so important, you're ready to support your digestion and boost your wellness naturally at home!
Healthy lifestyle choices like drinking plenty of water and fiber rich foods are of course still debatable as to whether or not they actually “cleanse” the colon, but they are certainly beneficial. As more medical peer-reviewed research is conducted, we will surely see what types of new studies emerge and what they can teach us about colon cleanses.
In the meantime, it's important to remember that any method you may choose for supporting your colon health should be approved by your doctor first and foremost, to avoid any potential risks. This way, you can feel confident about taking the right steps to support your health and longevity!
LEAVE US A COMMENT BELOW TO LET US KNOW IF YOU'VE EVER TRIED A COLON CLEANSE OR PLAN TO IN THE FUTURE. WE CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.