Eating a variety of foods that cleanse your colon is a simple but effective way to keep your colon clean and healthy. It prevents not just colon problems but a whole host of problems that can be traced back to a dirty and malfunctioning colon.
The good news is that foods that cleanse the colon are not exotic, hard to find or expensive. On the whole, they are ordinary foods that have been neglected in favor of highly-processed and essentially unnatural convenience foods.
By comparison, colon cleansing foods are natural, fibrous and ideally eaten raw. So what type of foods cleanse the colon?
One of the top colon cleansing foods is fruit, eaten raw and (ideally) with the peel. Fruit is packed with fiber – essential for colon health – as well as vitamins, antioxidants and many other beneficial and detoxifying substances. With such a variety of fruits to choose from and different ways to use them – in juices, fruits salads and so on – it’s super easy to eat more fruit.
Topping the list of colon-friendly fruits are apple with the skin, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, prunes, figs and dates, pears and avocados. If you’re not too fond of any of these, next best are apples without their skins, kiwi fruits, mangos, oranges and tangerines, papaya, plums, raisins and strawberries.
Like fruits, vegetables are packed with fiber as well as vital nutrients but of all the foods that cleanse the colon, may be the least appealing. With some imagination (and perhaps a new cookbook) they can be made into delicious side dishes, lunches and snacks. For instance, experiment with flavorful dressings so they can be eaten the way they work best for the colon – raw.
Top picks for colon-cleanse properties are green peas and snow peas, spinach and Swiss chard. Runners up are potatoes with their skins, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, corn, Brussels sprouts, rhubarb, turnip, parsnips and winter squash as well as these more exotic vegetables: eggplant, bean sprouts, sweet potatoes with their skins, bok choy and artichokes.
A word of warning: green peas, beets, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, turnips and winter squash are prime culprits for causing gas.
Juices made from the fruits and vegetables mentioned above have excellent colon-cleansing properties. As well as fiber, they contain cleansing salts and enzymes while the water content of juices helps flush out toxins and accumulated waste from the colon. “Juice fasts” are a popular homemade colon cleanse option but can affect the glycaemic response (insulin levels). If diabetic, consult with your doctor before a juice fast.
Cereals are one of the most convenient foods to cleanse your colon. They contain soluble fibers that as well as benefiting the colon are known to reduce cholesterol levels – oatmeal and oat bran, wheat, rye, flax, barley and psyllium husks.
Top performers for colon health are Red River and Sunny Boy, containing wheat, rye and flax, and plain old porridge made from oatmeal. As well as being rich in ingredients that cleanse the colon, these cereals are cooked. It has been found that cooking turbo boosts the beneficial properties of cereals and many delicious recipes using Red River and Sunny Boy can be found online.
For cold cereals, opt for All Bran, Bran Buds, Bran Flakes, Corn Bran, Fiber1, Grapenut Flakes, Oat Bran, Oat Squares or Raisin Bran.
Healthy breads, bagels and muffins
Like cereals, breads, bagels and muffins are convenient foods for cleansing the colon. They contain soluble fiber in the form of wheat, rye and bran, as well as grains which are also good for the colon.
Again, some are better than others. Many healthy breads, bagels and muffins are now available which deliver a healthy dose of these ingredients from whole-wheat, multigrain and rye breads to bran muffins and whole wheat pita breads.
Rice and pasta
Ordinary rice and pasta do very little for the colon but whole wheat pasta and brown rice have a high fiber content.
Nut and seeds
All nuts and seeds are good for the colon – natural, fibrous, raw and unprocessed – and make tasty snacks and additions to salads, cereals and home-bakery items.
Almonds, whole flax seeds and soy nuts are particularly beneficial followed by peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia and brazil nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, and the biggest seed – coconut.
Nuts and seeds can be problematic for anyone with tooth problems or dentures but can be crushed, and all-natural peanut butter and Trail Mix are convenient ways to deliver these colon-cleansing foods to the colon.
Vegetarians among you will already be consuming plenty of legumes – kidney beans, lima beans, black-eyed beans, navy beans, chick peas, split peas and lentils – all of which benefit and cleanse the colon. Like vegetables, legumes may not seem the most appealing of foods to cleanse the colon but a vegetarian cookbook will help you discover interesting ways to integrate them into your diet.
Yes, popcorn is good for the colon – provided it is home-popped and not slathered with fats and sugars. It is a whole-grain, high-fiber food containing protein and B vitamins too.
A final word
As you can see there are many foods that cleanse the colon that can be easily integrated into a day-to-day diet with no need to visit speciality food stores or increase the food budget. At the same time, be sure to eliminate foods and drinks that are bad for the colon and consult with your doctor before making a significant change to your diet.
If you have neglected the health of your colon for some time, consider colon cleansing to give your colon a fresh start or the occasional spring clean. The aim of all colon cleansing therapies is a healthy colon that functions well by itself, and eating foods that cleanse the colon is the best strategy for achieving this.
Copyright 2008 Lindy Sinclair