When our body digests the food, its final destination is the colon, or also known as the large intestine. This organ is responsible for absorbing fluid from indigestible food residue and produces solid waste for elimination.
The colon is also responsible for fluid, electrolytes (salts) and fatty-acid absorption, which are very important for systemic health. Seventy percents of the immune system is consisted of the human gastrointestinal tract house, so you can imagine how important it is to keep it healthy.
The gut flora that thrives there aids in digestion, manufacturing nutrients, protecting against food-borne pathogens and even plays a role in regulating your body weight.
There are several ways to keep your colon healthy, including:
Eating more fiber
Think of fiber as a broom that sweeps and cleans your digestive system. Fiber is the lone nutrient that isn’t digested and helps the bowels contract, or in other words – more fiber = emptier colon.
Among foods that are rich in fiber are flax seeds and oats. Other great sources are fruits, (mainly strawberries and apples), veggies, whole grains, and beans. It is recommended to consume about 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Increase your fruit and vegetable daily intake (5 servings a day) and pack on the whole grains (coming in at 6). Moreover, these foods are super delicious and will maintain your overall health.
Drink more water
You just can never go wrong with water. Drinking sufficient amount makes everything function better. Your body has a natural way of telling you whether you need to drink more water, just notice the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow or near-clear you’re doing a great job; if it’s darker than that, start drinking more!
Alcohol and caffeine don’t count to your overall liquid intake as they actually dehydrate your body.
Consume more fermented foods
The bacteria found in fermented food are excellent for your colon. Without those bacteria the toxins won’t degrade.
These types of bacteria are found in yogurt, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Kefir and kombucha tea will also provide with them.
Other food choices include alfalfa, wheatgrass, brussel sprouts, spinach, peas, and barley grass. They are rich in chlorophyll which cleanses and soothes tissue. Greens can also repair your intestines.
Regular exercising increases the blood flow and circulation, so your colon is provided with more oxygen. This may help ward off colon cancer and other diseases. And you don’t need to be a fitness expert; just do regular stretching, yoga or walking for 10-15 minutes a day.
Now, we now that NO ONE likes colonoscopy because it is a very unpleasant experience, it is very important to do regular check-ups as it is crucial in discovering early stages of colon cancer. Colonoscopy is especially recommended for persons over the age of 50.
The recipe you’re about to read contains foods rich in fiber and other nutrients that will keep your colon feeling fresh.
You will need:
- 1 apple
- 1 tsp raw honey (for sweetness)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (ground is easier to digest than whole)
- 1 cup water
Blend everything together, except the chia seeds. After they’re blended, our it in a tall glass and mix the chia in. Stir until the chia seeds have started expanding (approx. 5 minutes).
About the ingredients:
- The apples are an excellent base. They are rich in of soluble fiber that will make you feel full longer and will help you with loose stools. They also contain insoluble fiber that adds bulk in stool and relieves constipation to keep things moving.
- Flax seeds are one of the richest foods in fiber. The fiber delays gastric emptying and improves intestinal absorption of nutrients. Flax also contains antioxidants and will also protect your heart by preventing cardiovascular diseases due to the heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Chia is another food rich in fiber, but is also rich in nutrients and vitamins that your body will absorb while cleansing away the toxins. Just like flax, chia seeds are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Honey is an amazing immune system booster. It offers antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties that can fight various diseases. It is also an excellent natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies. What’s more, it has carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumor properties.