A healthy gut and colon can make us feel fabulous from the inside out. We spend so much time making our external bodies look good, so spending time on gut cleansing makes a lot of sense.
If you have a busy lifestyle and symptoms of poor gut health, your colon might need a makeover. You can make some simple changes to your diet, what you drink and how you exercise to help you maintain good gut health from the comfort of your own home.
Firstly, we will look at what a clean colon can do for you before examining ways to cleanse your colon naturally.
What can a clean colon do for me?
Did you know that your colon (or large intestine) is around 1.5m long? This vital organ is the life force of your digestive system. It processes and removes waste from your body.
Naturally cleansing your colon at home can benefit your overall health with a particular focus on digestive health, potential weight loss, or a boost to your immune system. There have been some positive outcomes for people who suffer from anxiety or lack of sleep.
As you can see, having a clean colon certainly has some benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how good it is.
Cleansing your gut can help you lose weight
Colon cleansing is the ideal way to kickstart your weight loss goals. While cleansing alone will not result in significant weight loss, keeping your digestive system and colon healthy can contribute to achieving your goal weight.
There are two ways cleansing can help you to lose weight:
- Removal of waste and slow-moving food from your colon and digestive tract can leave you somewhat lighter.
- An unhealthy colon can cause harmful bacteria to crave sugary foods. A clean colon can reduce your sugar cravings.
However, if your body is carrying extra fat, further weight loss could take time. Read:
A healthy gut can boost your immune system
We have a virtual army of bacteria living in our gut. While that may make you feel a bit squeamish, I am here to let you know that most of the bacteria in our gut is the good sort that keeps our immune system balanced.
Our bodies have more bacteria cells than human cells. We call the community of bacteria that lives in us a microbiome.
When we expose our microbiome to poor food or drink choices, that's when the trouble starts. Like a toddler who has been given too much sugar, your gut plays up and messes with your immune system.
Having a healthy colon full of beneficial bacteria can help us fight viruses from the common cold to Covid-19. This study shows that what we eat impacts our microbial community (gut bacteria) directly, affecting our immunity.
Colon cleansing can eliminate toxins
Despite what you may have heard, there is no scientific evidence to say that a colon cleanse can eliminate toxins. Your body’s organs, the liver and kidneys, help to do this job. These two significant organs have the job of neutralising toxins while your colon eliminates waste via pee and poop.
A colon cleanse of the irrigation type, where you are flushing everything from your colon using large volumes of water, can disrupt and eliminate those beneficial bacteria that make up your microbiome.
Digestive problems can be solved by cleansing your colon
The colon is a vital organ in your digestive system. Therefore, maintaining a clean colon can help solve these common digestive problems:
- Gastric reflux
Eating foods or drinking beverages beneficial to your gut bacteria, like those listed further below, can help your body combat most of these problems.
If any digestive disorders are ongoing or worsen over time, it is essential to seek medical advice as soon as you can.
Anxiety could be reduced by colon cleansing
Have you ever heard the saying "gut feeling" when people talk about making major life decisions? Your gut or colon is sometimes referred to as your "second brain". If you feel anxious about something, it can be reflected in how your stomach reacts.
Good gut bacteria have been found to produce dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), which control our moods, lessen anxiety, improve concentration and keep us motivated.
Scientists have long been interested in linking the bacterial microbiome, your brain, and your gut. This 2017 study found there was growing evidence to substantiate this link. Healthy gut bacteria were essential for the well-being of patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
A natural colon cleanse could be beneficial if you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression. However, these can also be symptoms of a mental disorder, and you should seek medical advice.
Gut cleansing could help you sleep better
As we have discussed, the link between your gut and your brain is well-documented, which is why sleepless nights could also be a result of a poor bacterial microbiome.
Along with the production of chemicals such as dopamine, your gut also produces serotonin, affecting sleep-wake cycles. Therefore, a depletion in good bacteria can also mean a shortage of dopamine and serotonin. Both these chemicals play a part in getting a good night's sleep.
The benefits of naturally cleansing your colon are numerous. A cleanse can help kickstart your weight loss journey, boost your immunity, aid digestive problems, help you manage anxiety or depression, and get you a good night's sleep.
What you eat can cleanse your gut
If you want to have better colon health, it makes sense to look at what you eat first. With some simple adjustments to your diet, you can begin cleansing your colon without even trying.
Food high in soluble and non-soluble fibre, such as leafy green vegetables, can keep food moving through your colon and cleanse your gut naturally. Additionally, food with prebiotic and probiotic properties can cleanse and balance your gut. Finally, food with essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium can balance and help with any digestive issues you may be experiencing.
To start feeling the benefits of a healthy colon, here are some foods to include in a healthy diet.
- Vegetables: Kale, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli - easy to prepare with high fibre, magnesium, and potassium levels. Carrots, high in flavonoids, can help prevent liver disease.
- Nuts and seeds: Raw brazil nuts, cashews, and walnuts are rich sources of magnesium. Chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are high in magnesium.
- Oats is a source of soluble fibre which promotes healthy bowel movements while being gentle on your gut.
- Avocado helps renew the cells in your gut, keep microbes happy and break down fibre.
- Garlic and onion: When eaten as part of your diet, they can help to enhance your immune system and balance gut bacteria.
- Salmon is one of the fish you can eat to boost immunity. It contains collagen and omega-3 fatty acid.
- Beans and peas: Legumes are high in dietary fibre, keeping your colon clean and reducing blood sugar levels.
- Bananas and berries: Their prebiotic effect fuels healthy gut bacteria. Other benefits include potassium and fibre.
- Fermented food like probiotics, Sauerkraut, miso, kefir, or yoghurt can restore balance to your gut bacteria.
Of course, if you have any food allergies, you will need to adjust your intake accordingly.
You can make improvements to the health of your gut bacteria and cleanse your colon by adjusting your diet to include foods high in soluble and non-soluble fibre. You can naturally cleanse your gut consuming foods with prebiotic and probiotic properties like bananas and fermented foods. A healthy dose of magnesium and potassium can maintain a balance and treat any digestive issues you may be experiencing.
What you drink can have a natural cleansing effect
You should always remain hydrated to maintain a healthy colon. If you don't always feel like drinking water, other alternatives are available.
Some natural teas such as turmeric and green tea are well-known for colon cleansing properties. Turmeric can relax the muscles of your intestine and allow food to pass through, and green tea can help populate healthy bacteria in your gut.
Other beverages such as dandelion, fresh juices and water can also be beneficial.
Let's start by looking at a couple of teas:
Turmeric tea can naturally cleanse your colon.
Turmeric Tea is a versatile, vibrant yellow beverage, delicious when consumed hot or cold. Regularly drinking turmeric tea can help you cleanse your colon and restore gut health.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been found to benefit the bacterial microbiome and act as a muscle relaxant to help cleanse your colon naturally.
This study found a strong connection between gut microbiota and curcumin and how it had beneficial effects on the growth of good bacteria strains in the study subjects.
If you want to find out some more benefits of drinking turmeric powder, read this article.
Green tea can give you a natural gut cleanse
Green tea is a refreshing beverage widely known as a tea with cleansing properties. You can consume the tea as leaf tea or Matcha powder form.
With multiple health benefits, green tea is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with properties that boost your immune system and metabolism to give you more energy. The anti-inflammatory properties, or the active ingredient, polyphenols of green tea, can improve your colons health and cleanse your gut naturally.
This study shows how green tea can influence the gut microbiota by stimulating the growth of good bacteria and halting the development of the detrimental ones.
Read this article if you wish to gain more information regarding green tea and find out which is the best in Australia.
Other beverages to help you improve gut health
Several other beverages can naturally cleanse your gut while also keeping you hydrated.
Water is your number one choice for hydration, but these natural juices can be had separately or combined to make delicious mocktails at home:
- Add lemon juice, mint, garlic, or ginger
Other teas to try that could improve your gut health:
Drinking fluid, whether it be water, tea or natural juice, will improve not only the bacterial microbiome in your colon but will hydrate your body naturally with many other benefits besides. Turmeric and green tea have cleansing properties that enable you to cleanse your colon safely and effectively at home.
Regular exercise can help eliminate toxins
Sweating when you exercise is the body's natural way of detoxifying. But how can that make a difference to your gut?
While exercising, you are sweating, which helps eliminate toxins from your gut. Exercising to the point of sweat three or more times a week can help circulate your lymphatic system.
Movement can help your body get rid of toxins through your pores and your breath by increasing sweat production and promoting blood circulation.
Lymph nodes occupy your entire colon. The more blood you have circulating through your body, the easier it is for your lymph nodes to do their job to fight infection and disease and eliminate toxins from your gut.
This study shows how physical activity can protect the body from oxidative damage. Exercise has the added benefit of an endorphin increase which makes you feel good.
An exercise that can help promote good gut health can be as simple as a brisk walk or jog. If you are producing sweat, you will activate lymph nodes to maintain a healthy microbiome.
Next time you go out for a stroll, push yourself a little harder and feel the burn! Check out other benefits of regular exercise in these articles:
- Go for the burn and exercise to keep belly fat away!
- Regular exercise and movement can lessen fluid in your legs
- Sweating may help flush salt out of your body fast
Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy gut. Exercising to the point of sweat at least three days a week can stimulate the lymph nodes present in your colon. When stimulated by physical activity, the lymph nodes work to eliminate toxins from your gut and fight infection and disease.
Intermittent fasting can help an unhealthy gut
You may have heard of intermittent fasting. It is a common method to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. Fasting can also help restore an unhealthy gut.
Intermittent fasting is also known as energy restriction, which means that you voluntarily fast over a given time.
Some people choose to fast on alternate days, fast periodically, or restrict their meals during the day. Fasting can increase the diversity of good gut bacteria by altering your circadian clock.
This follows a 24-hour cycle, which regulates your eating and sleeping patterns in response to light and dark. Gut bacteria have its own circadian clock and is very responsive to food's presence and absence.
Disrupting your natural cycle can result in many health benefits in addition to improved gut health, including:
- weight loss
- reduced cholesterol
- improved blood sugar levels.
This study shows how intermittent fasting changed metabolic markers and altered the bacterial microbiome in the research subjects. The researcher found fasting to have some metabolic benefits for the subjects.
Intermittent fasting is the process of voluntarily restricting the amount of food you consume over a given period. When you fast, you interrupt your natural circadian rhythm, which can result in positive changes to your bacterial microbiome.
Other natural ways to cleanse your gut
We have covered many ways to cleanse your gut naturally at home by controlling what you eat and drink and when. Now we will look at two other ways you can cleanse your gut.
You can have a colon flush using a hydrotherapy method. This type of colon flushing is performed by a professional. Alternatively, you can try a saltwater flush whereby you consume salt water and wait for a bowel movement.
1. Colonic irrigation can flush out toxins
Colonic irrigation has been practised for centuries.
The process of eliminating waste using hydrotherapy is performed by an expert who will insert a tube into your rectum and flush large amounts of water or another substance into your backside. This may not appeal to everyone.
People who have colonic irrigation regularly report that it can help with bowel and gut health and stop bloating and low energy.
2. Saltwater flush can cleanse your colon
A saltwater flush can be done at home and can cleanse your colon when used as part of a detoxification program.
It can be an effective short-term treatment to rid the bowel of waste if you are constipated or concerned about irregular bowel movements.
The process involves dissolving two teaspoons of non-iodised sea salt in four cups of warm water and then drinking the mixture as quickly as possible on an empty stomach. A bowel movement should follow soon after. Best performed in the morning when you have nothing else planned!
One way to cleanse your colon, in addition to the natural home remedies we have discussed, is the more invasive procedure of colonic irrigation, where you see a professional and have them flush your colon with water. Another method is to have a saltwater flush achieved by swallowing a large amount of warm saltwater.
Signs you need a colon cleanse and when to seek help
The following signs could mean that you need a colon cleanse, but you know your body best.
- Unusual pooping (diarrhea or constipation): If you have diarrhea or constipation and have ruled out any bad reactions to the food you have eaten, it could be caused by harmful gut bacteria.
- Food allergies: Sudden unexplained food allergies can indicate that your gut bacteria is not as it should be.
- Immunity problems: You get sick all the time and feel like you go from one cold to another.
- Fatigue: You don't have enough energy to get up and go to work in the morning, and you spend all day feeling lethargic.
- Poor skin health: Sometimes, skin problems can be caused by what's going on in your gut. Your lymphatic system could be sluggish because you are not pooping correctly.
- Indigestion (heartburn): Digestive complaints such as bloating and gas can have you feeling sick or constipated.
- Migraines: Constant headaches or migraines can signify that your gut bacteria is not balanced.
- Anxiety: Poor gut health does not always cause anxiety, a sudden onset of anxiety accompanied by depression could result from an imbalance in your bacterial microbiome.
As with any health issues, seek medical advice if you think any of the signs listed above are severe or have become worse.
Unusual pooping, poor skin health or indigestion are all signs that you need a colon cleanse. However, if you think your symptoms are getting worse, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.
We have covered a lot of ground and provided many simple ways to cleanse your gut naturally at home. From simple dietary changes to drinking green and turmeric tea or increasing your exercise, you should begin to feel changes from within and see changes from the outside.
The solutions we have provided are not only beneficial for colon and bacterial health, but also have other health benefits.
Let's face it, you shouldn't be doing your body any harm if you increase your fibre intake or exercise more often, and if you have ever wanted to try intermittent fasting or test out some new teas, now might be the time. Here's to a happy gut and a happy life!