In recent years, colon cleansing has been a topic of much discussion. There are just as many advocates as there are opponents, but most often this is in reference to taking medications or undergoing colonic irrigation. Few people dispute the importance of keeping your digestive tract cleared of undigested foods and built up fecal matter, it is the way in which this is accomplished that is open to debate. Actually, there is a ‘happy medium’ which can be achieved if you understand the importance of adding natural colon cleansing foods to your diet. While you may still want to take natural supplements to affect a total body cleanse periodically, natural colon cleansing foods help keep your intestines from getting impacted in between.
High Fiber Foods and Colon Cleansing
Fiber is of high importance when it comes to colon cleansing foods, but there are actually two types of fiber to be concerned with. Insoluble fiber does not break down during digestion and literally flushes everything in its path through the intestines and out right along with it. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, turns into a gelatinous mass in the intestines as it dissolves in fluids. While neither type of fiber is actually digested and absorbed by the body, they both have varying benefits in terms of cleansing. Insoluble fiber works by helping to control the acidity required for digestion and it also promotes the movement of bulk through the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber also helps to move bulk through the intestines but it also removes toxins and helps to keep intestines free from microorganisms that can, and do, lead to cancer. Also, soluble fiber helps to prevent LDL cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream which makes it a heart healthy nutrient as well! A healthy balance of foods rich in both types of fiber is imperative for a colon cleansing regimen.
Foods Containing Insoluble Fiber
Once you understand the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber, you are ready to find sources of both that you can easily add to your daily diet. Following is a list of foods which are rich in insoluble fiber.
- Wheat Bran
- Oat Bran
- Beans (brown and white)
- Wheat Germ
- Rye Flour (whole meal)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Root Vegetables (i.e. Rutabaga, Potatoes)
- Whole Wheat Pasta
As you can see, there are some pretty tasty items on that list which should make it fairly easy to add these foods to your diet.
Foods Containing Soluble Fiber
While foods containing insoluble fiber are plentiful, foods containing soluble fiber are actually more interesting! There is a wider scope of foods to choose from and each meal can be more interesting than the next because of the wide variety of colon cleansing foods with soluble fiber. Here is just a small sampling of foods high in soluble fiber.
- Kidney Beans
- Lima Beans
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Ginger Root
Notice that some of the foods listed here also contain insoluble fiber. If you want to make it easy to get sufficient amounts of colon cleansing foods in your diet, choose several that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber so that you are killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
Assorted Nutrients That Aid Cleansing
While high fiber foods have gotten all the attention, there are other nutrients which are beneficial to cleansing the colon and overall colorectal health as well. The first on this list would be yogurt because it is a rich source of probiotics that replenish friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. While fiber is great at removing bacteria and other toxins, it is indiscriminate and removes the good stuff along with the bad. As a result, you will need to find a way to replenish digestive bacteria and yogurt is the best source. (Besides, it’s yummy!) Also, Aloe Vera beverages are soothing to the digestive tract and add a smooth, soothing coating to the lining of the intestines which aids in digestion. Aloe also has healing properties which can soothe the intestines if they have become inflamed due to digestive issues. Fresh fruit juices with pulp are highly recommended to keep the body cleansed of toxins while they also provide a number of vitamins that promote better health all the way around.
Because we have come to associate colon cleansing with supplements, medications and colonic procedures that eradicate waste from the system, we fail to fully appreciate the benefits of colon cleansing foods. It is suggested that we avoid red meats as much as possible when trying to affect cleansing and that any proteins we need should be derived from plant sources. At the best of times, it is suggested that we limit red meats to once or twice weekly while avoiding processed foods altogether. A raw diet is always best, but in the absence of fresh, raw fruits and veggies, always opt for frozen over canned. By eating plenty of natural colon cleansing foods you should never need to treat constipation or worry about excess toxins building up again.