- Consider what foods will boost your digestive system
- Discover the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber
- Learn the best foods to eat to clean your gut
While archaeologists often like to tell us what wonderful hunters our ancestors were, the truth is probably more complex than that. In fact, emerging evidence shows us that ancient humans ate an extremely diverse diet, consuming lots of vegetables and only small amounts of red meat.
Our ancestral diet may have included 100 grams of fiber every day. In contrast, the US government recommends adults get between 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day. And only 5% of the population meets those requirements! No wonder there’s so much disease today! So, what can you do to clean your gut and boost your fiber intake in the most efficient way?
Soluble versus insoluble fiber
You’ve probably heard that fiber is necessary for your overall health and wellness. But did you know there are two types of fiber? It’s essential for your gut health that you eat plenty of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Thankfully, that’s not hard to do if you follow a balanced diet.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, creating a gel-like substance, and consuming this kind of fiber in your diet protects you against diabetes and heart disease. You can find it in oats, beans, avocados, barley, citrus fruits, pears, and apples.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. Otherwise known as roughage, insoluble fiber travels through your system, aiding digestion and promoting bowel movements. Foods like whole grains, cauliflower, green beans, and fruits whose skins you eat, such as blackberries, are all great examples of insoluble fiber-rich foods.
The best colon cleansing foods
Eating a balanced, high-fiber diet is one of the best ways to look after your health, and choosing certain foods can help with weight loss, improve digestion, and boost your immune system. If you have colon cancer or any other health condition, make sure you seek medical advice before changing your diet.
A great way to get plenty of fiber in your diet is to start your morning with a bowl of porridge. Oats’ high fiber content helps remove toxins from your gut, promoting regular bowel movements, and protecting you against constipation and hemorrhoids.
Despite its name, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. While wheat and the gluten in it may cause bloating and other colon problems—otherwise known as the large intestine, buckwheat has anti-inflammatory effects. It is particularly good to eat buckwheat if you have inflammatory bowel disease since it may improve cell function in your colon. Eat it like a grain alongside stews and curries.
Amaranth is another grain that could help you maintain a healthy colon. That’s because it might inhibit tumor cell growth, helping your colon stay free from cancer. Toast the seeds and eat them as a snack or cook amaranth like rice. It will become sticky and is the perfect ingredient for using in raw cookies or energy bars.
Eating quinoa helps harmonize your gut bacteria, suppressing imbalances so that the good bacteria can do their job. Quinoa is a great ingredient to add to a colon cleanse diet as it keeps your colon clean and improves digestive function. Cook it like rice, eat it alongside your main meal, or leave it to cool and make quinoa salad.
Adding foods like beans and lentils to your diet is a simple way to cleanse your gut. Lentils are high in fiber and phytochemicals, plant nutrients with health benefits. Make sure you cook them well and add your favorite vegetables and whole-grain for a healthy meal.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut not only taste delicious, they also contain beneficial micro-organisms that help your body absorb nutrients from food. These good bacteria are called probiotics, and they are well known to aid digestive health. Other fermented foods to look out for include kimchi and miso.
Broccoli is one of the best foods you can eat for fighting colon cancer. It contains high levels of the antioxidant kaempferol, which probably has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Broccoli is also an excellent source of insoluble fiber. If you have diabetes, it may help balance blood sugar levels.
Broccoli isn’t the only vegetable to eat for colon health. Try eating dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and cabbage. They help sustain healthy bacteria in your gut and contain resveratrol, a nutrient that balances your microbiome. Avoid overcooking your greens, as you can damage their nutrient properties. Eat them raw or gently steamed for the best health benefits.
Asparagus contains high levels of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, both of which are good for your immune system. It also has a high phytochemical content that may help protect against cancer.
Ginger helps cleanse your gut and may protect against flatulence, infections, and diarrhea. It prevents harmful bacteria from growing in your gut. Consuming plenty of ginger may be an effective way of protecting against colon cancer.
Adding olive oil to your diet is an excellent way to take care of your health. It contains phenols, another type of plant chemical that may inhibit cancer growth. Splash it over your salads or take a spoonful mixed in orange juice to treat occasional bouts of constipation.
For some, eating a lot of fruits may cause gas and bloating. That’s why low-sugar fruits such as kiwis are a good alternative. They won’t bloat your belly, but they will increase water retention in your gut, promoting healthy bowel movements.
If you need a quick fiber fix, consider eating a banana. But don’t choose a ripe one. Green bananas are an excellent source of resistant starch, which may help you stay regular.
Eating high levels of vitamin C is linked to better gut health. You could choose to supplement your diet with vitamins, or you can eat plenty of vitamin C-containing foods. Just one orange contains almost an entire day’s recommended daily requirements. And oranges also contain choline, which reduces inflammation.
Eating prunes is another great way to improve your diet. Prunes contain a special kind of sugar called sorbitol, which has a natural laxative effect. Prunes add bulk to your stools, promoting healthy bowel movements, and preventing constipation, which helps your colon keep itself clean.
The best colon cleansing drinks
Looking after your colon isn’t just about what you eat. It’s also about what—and how much—you drink. Staying hydrated will cleanse your gut, helping you go to the bathroom regularly. Avoid drinks such as coffee, alcohol, and sodas, as they tend to dehydrate your system.
It may sound simple but drinking plenty of water is one of the most important factors for your gut health. If you suffer from chronic constipation, it could simply be that you are dehydrated. Aim to drink at least two liters per day. To make it more palatable, squeeze lemon juice into your glass to add flavor.
If you struggle to drink enough water or simply want to find a healthy hot drink, try sipping a cup of green tea every day. Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and makes a great replacement for coffee. Green tea consumption is linked to decreased colon cancer risk and might boost probiotics in your gut.
Kombucha is another drink that may help protect you against cancer. This probiotic-rich beverage kills harmful bacteria and removes toxins from your gut. If you’re planning to add kombucha to your daily routine, look for varieties with less than 4 grams of sugar, as sugar is not good for your body.