The trip from beginning to end of your digestive tract can take between one and three days, with as much of 90 percent of that time in the colon.
The colon, a 5- to 6-foot-long muscular tube, absorbs fluids and some nutrients. A variety of foods can help keep your colon clean and functioning optimally.
Raw green veggies provide digestive enzymes that help cleanse the colon of insufficiently digested food, according to naturopath Linda Page, author of “Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide To Self-Healing For Everyone.” Digestive enzymes in food combine with those your digestive system secretes to break food down thoroughly. As you age, your body produces lower quantities of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, leading to less complete digestion. Cooking destroys these delicate molecules, so raw is the rule to derive the greatest enzyme benefits from vegetables. If eating large quantities of raw vegetables is not practical for you, juicing offers a convenient option for obtaining sufficient levels of enzymes for a cleansing effect.
A colon cleanse would not be complete without high-fiber foods. Both soluble and insoluble fiber add bulk that gently stretches and stimulates the intestinal lining and ensures a healthy rate of peristalsis — the rhythmic muscular contractions that move food through the digestive tract — and prevents constipation. Your colon requires about 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day to be healthy. Many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are excellent sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Peas and Brussels sprouts are particularly high-fiber vegetables, with 4.3 grams and 3.8 grams of fiber, respectively, per half-cup serving. Kidney beans top the list for fiber content among beans, with 7.9 grams per half-cup serving, followed by black beans, with 6.1 grams per half-cup serving. One tablespoon of flaxseeds provides 3.3 grams of fiber.
Probiotic and prebiotic foods help maintain optimal levels of the healthy bacteria that live in your colon. Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso contain species of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Bifidus. Other foods, such as beans and flaxseed, contain a soluble fiber compound called inulin, which bacteria are able to digest and use as a food source, or prebiotic. These foods can help manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Chicory and dandelion root, apples, onions and asparagus are also good sources of inulin.
Drink plenty of water to clean out your colon. Fiber absorbs water, so if you are mindful of adding fiber during a colon cleanse but neglect to drink sufficient quantities of water, you may become constipated, negating the benefits of the fiber. Eight glasses is the recommendation for everyday water consumption. Increase your water intake further if you are intentionally adding extra fiber during a colon cleanse.
There is a good reason why you need to detoxify your body from harmful toxins: HEALTH. It is not really a difficult thing to do if you know what food to eat, which will help you cleanse yourself from within. Remember that all chronic diseases take its roots back to a toxic colon. The great news is that the foods you need to cleanse your colon is not far from reach and all you have to do is visit your nearest local grocery. Normally, foods that detoxify the body are eaten raw to maintain their most natural and fibrous elements.
There is simply no magic formula when it comes to cleansing your colon. A dirty colon just makes you feel depleted of the much-needed energy you need to live the life you have today. We are what we eat and this is true when it comes to our health. With the advent of fast food comes greasy, sugar-laden foods that wreak havoc to our body’s well-being. Also, the way food is handled and prepared can expose us to risks of bacteria and parasites which can make us ill. Because a colon cannot function properly when it’s dirty, waste build up from within, making you feel sick.
Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
Beets and Carrots
Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.
This liver-loving beverage is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet. Learn more about the benefits of green tea.
Leafy Green Vegetables
One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.
This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.
High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.
Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload many of us suffer from.
Grains, such as brown rice, are rich in B-complex vitamins which are nutrients known to improve overall fat metabolization, liver function and liver decongestion. If possible, do not eat foods withwhite flour, instead try eating whole wheat alternatives.
Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins, out of our body which may significantly lower risks associated with cancer.
Lemons & Limes
These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.
Holding high amounts of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing.
Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.
The liver’s favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detox, by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.
Legumes from kidney beans to lentils, legumes clean the colon and help flush toxins.
Omega 3’s Oil (avocado or olive oil) These oils act as a lubricant in your intestine’s walls, making toxins attach to this oil which will be flushed out soon.
Seed and Nuts helps with better digestion and it is always best to buy natural raw unprocessed seeds and nuts.
Psyllium Husk acts as a sweeper of toxins from within and are great for your digestive system.
Other liver cleanse foods not listed above include artichoke, asparagus, kale, and brussel sprouts. Eating the foods listed above is a great way to help keep your liver functioning properly. However, for best results, I recommend performing a liver cleanse. Performing a liver cleanse at least twice a year will eliminate any foreign substances that may be trapped in your liver.