The bowel is one of the most important systems for removing toxins from your body. Toxins that get into your body are processed by your liver and are eliminated from your body by the bowel or by the kidneys through the urine.
If you have decided to do a New Year Detox to kickstart your healthy eating resolution it makes sense to start with a bowel cleansing diet.
There are various schools of thought about the necessity for colon cleansing but there is no doubt that if your colon becomes sluggish or overworked it cannot function properly.
Toxins which remain for any length of time in the bowel can get reaborbed into your body. They get sent back to the liver where they have to go through the whole detox process again, overworking your liver.
So, it is important that you start any detox plan with a bowel cleansing diet. However well you clean your blood, lymph and liver if your bowel is not cleansed they will all become full of toxins again.
Do you need a bowel cleanse diet?
- Constipation or sluggish bowelsUnless you have at least 1 easy bowel movement a day you need to get them moving for a successful detox. Poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, lack of fluid and use of certain medication can all contribute to constipation.It’s estimated that 4 1/2 million people in the United States are constipated most of the time. And in the UK 1 in 3 people suffer with constipation.
- Body & breath odorAlthough there can be other reasons for both any unpleasant breath or body odor or a coated tongue can indicate a toxic bowel.
- Chronic health problemsA toxic colon can result in many problems such as acne, allergies, muscular aches & pains, recurrent bladder infections, headaches, fatigue, sore throat and frequent colds and infections.
There is a lot of controversy over the existance of so called mucoid plaque in the intestines and the need to remove it for health. Whether it exists or not a number of health practitioners such as Bernard Jensen have demonstrated that various symptoms in the body can be improved through bowel cleansing.
The Bowel Cleansing Diet
Fiber also known as roughage helps to cleanse the bowel naturally. If you increase high fiber foods in your diet fiber supplements are often not necessary. Fiber is essential for detoxification of the intestines. It helps to scrub your intestinal walls, absorbs water in the large intestine and makes the stools softer and bulkier and easier to pass.
Fiber shortens the time that toxins stay in the intestines and helps to prevent the absorption of toxins from the bowel. It helps to increase the excretion of bacterial toxins and products from putrefaction of undigested protein.
The fiber that comes from food is the best type of fiber to have. There are two types of fiber – insoluble fiber which does not dissolve and and soluble fiber which partially dissolves in water.
Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, vegetables and seeds. Soluble fiber is found in fruit, legumes, oats, nuts and some seeds.
High fiber foods:
- Whole grains (especially brown rice but not wheat)
- Vegetables both raw & cooked
- Fresh Fruit with skin
- Dried Fruit
A high fiber diet has been shown to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, diverticulitis and obesity but the majority of people eat too little fiber. It slows digestion which helps to balance blood sugar levels, helps you to feel fuller longer. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol.
When you increase fiber in your diet you may have some bloating and gas ( wind) at first. As your system becomes used to extra fibre the bloating or gas tends to settle. It’s best to increase it gradually.
For a long time doctors and dieticians have recommended that people with constipation or bowel problems increase whole wheat, especially wheat bran, in their diets but wheat is difficult for a lot of people to digest. Consequently it tends to cause a lot of problems for many people.
Wheat and wheat products such as wheat based breakfast cereals, wheat bran and pasta are not recommended on a bowel cleanse diet. In fact it is best to avoid all gluten grains like oats, rye and barley as well.
Flax seeds are good for bowel cleansing. You can take them whole or ground. Whole ones work better for some people and ground ones for others. If you are going to try ground ones it is best to grind your own just before you are going to use them.
Add them to your breakfast, yogurt, sprinkle then on salads or add to soup and vegetable dishes when ready to serve.
Take 1 – 2 tablespoons of whole or ground flax seed a day.
As a change from flax seeds you can try Chia Seeds. These tiny seeds have been dubbed a superfood. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and ounce for ounce more total fiber than Flax seeds. They are much softer than flax seeds.
The fibers trap more than three times the weight of the seed in water which keeps the bowel hydrated so the food and waste move easily through your digestive system.
One of the best substances for bowel cleansing is chlorophyll which is found in all green vegetables, especially the green, leafy vegetables. So, make sure you eat plenty of these.
Green algae are the highest sources of chlorophyll in the plant world and if you want to speed up the process of cleansing your colon then chlorella is a great addition to the diet. It does an excellent job in removing toxins from the bowel and healing damaged tissue in the digestive system.
Many people are constipated or have difficult bowel movements because they do not drink enough liquids. There is controversy over how much water you shoudl drink but 6 – 8 glasses of pure water a day is about average. It is important to drink enough water for detoxification.
You will increase your fluid intake by eating more fruit and vegetables , fresh vegetable juices and soups. You can drink green or herbal teas too.
Apple Cider Vinegar
To help digestion and stimulate the bowels drink a small glass of water with a little lemon juice and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar before meals. Add a little apple juice to sweeten if you want.
You can also add some herbs for deeper cleansing. You can learn more about this in my blog post here: How To Colon Cleanse
Foods To Avoid on the Bowel Cleansing Diet
As well as including the foods to help cleanse the bowel naturally you should also exclude these foods that can damage your digestive system and are bad for your health. It probably won’t come as any surprise that the following foods should be avoided.
- Refined sugar and food containing it
- Junk food and processed food.
- Red meat
- Fried and fatty food
- Dairy products except live yogurt or kefir
- Alcohol, fizzy drinks, sodas
- Reduce coffee and regular tea.
After following the bowel cleansing diet for a week or two and your bowels are working well you should make sure that you continue to eat plenty of fiber and avoid the foods that are no good for your health such as refined and processed food, deep fried food, all food additives and artificial sweeteners.