Constipation: it's not a common topic of conversation, but it is a common experience.
A healthy colon will eliminate the contents of the lower bowel at least once per day, ideally in the morning. But with so many common lifestyle factors contributing to constipation, it's not uncommon for many people to go days without a bowel movement!
It's a fact of life that no one likes to talk about. Don't let constipation keep you behind closed doors for too long. The Body Ecology system for healing can help you overcome constipation and cleanse your colon.
If you have trouble eliminating, these factors could be why your colon is backed up:
- Stress! Negative emotions and high stress levels make the body contract and tighten, causing constipation.
- Dehydration. Most people overestimate the amount of water they drink, and dehydration hinders the elimination of waste.
- Anti-depressants. Serotonin influences peristaltic action (the wave-like muscle contractions) in your colon. Anti-depressants elevate your serotonin levels but one of the side effects is constipation. Too much serotonin and too little serotonin both cause constipation.
- Travel. Many people become constipated when they travel because of stress. Your gut is very sensitive to any stress, which causes it to shut down, tighten and contract. To eliminate well, your body needs to be in a relaxed mode.
- Diets low in fiber. The Standard American Diet is low in fiber from too few vegetables, ocean vegetables, fruits and grains. These fiber-rich foods act as a natural broom to "sweep out" your intestines.
- Too many sugary, floury foods. These kinds of foods 'clog up' your intestines and make it difficult for them to eliminate waste efficiently.
- Lack of beneficial bacteria in the colon. If you do not have enough good bacteria (microflora) in your intestines, it becomes a struggle for them to properly digest and eliminate your food. Keeping your intestines clean is one of the most important responsibilities of the many beneficial microflora inside you.
Eat Your Way to a Healthy Colon
Health and disease both begin in the colon. If you struggle with constipation and want to heal your colon, start with what you eat.
Eat foods that support colon cleansing:
- Avoid large amounts of salt, meat, and poultry. These are contracting foods that are more difficult to digest. We recommend that only 20-25% of a meal be animal protein. The rest of your plate should contain high-fiber vegetables, ocean vegetables and cultured vegetables.
- Eat lots of fresh vegetables. Lightly steamed, raw, baked...all veggies are an excellent source of fiber and several servings should be eaten at each meal The fiber in these foods helps push the food you've eaten through your intestines. 80% of each meal should be vegetables.
- Introduce sea vegetables into your diet. Rich in minerals they top the list with dark green leafy veggies for a daily must if you want to stay young and healthy. These often-overlooked vegetables provide trace minerals and nutrients that nourish both your thyroid and your adrenals. Weak thyroid and adrenals may be one of the most undetected causes of constipation and both organs need lots of minerals. A common cause of constipation is an under-active thyroid. Agar has been used in Japan to relieve constipation.
- Fruits. We do allow some limited fruit in the beginning stages of the Body Ecology Diet. As your candida symptoms disappear and you are certain your inner ecosystem is on its way to being established (by eating and drinking fermented foods and beverages), you can add others.
- But some fruits are very sweet and others less so. Choose the very sour fruits like grapefruit, lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberry juice, black currant juice, unsweetened blueberry juice concentrate, and pomegranate juice. These juices are wonderful sources of antioxidants and are great when you add them to a microflora-rich beverage like Young Coconut Kefir.
- Avoid the sweet fruits (e.g., dates, bananas, apples, pears, figs and melons) during the initial stage of the Body Ecology program and maybe forever. Your body will never need much sugar and when you eat fermented foods, which are sour, you will no longer desire such sweetness.
- These sweet fruits are always a source for feeding yeast and can contribute to conditions like diabetes and aging.
- Always include ground flax seed in your diet. We added this amazing fiber in our own Vitality SuperGreen formula. Vitality SuperGreen is the only green drink on the market that was designed to nourish and care for your colon. Flax fiber is just one of the fibers in this great-tasting green drink. It also has fermented veggies, algae and cereal grasses. If there was ever a contest for the best green drink on the planet VitalitySuperGreen would surely win.
- Include fermented foods and drinks. Cultured vegetables and fermented beverages populate your gut with good bacteria to help you digest food and assimilate nutrients.
- Milk kefir has been a remedy for healthier bowels and better elimination for thousands of years.
- But why? Is it because of the wonderful bacteria and yeast or because of the tryptophan?
- Tryptophan converts to serotonin in your body and serotonin influences the peristaltic action in your colon. (An added bonus is that it also improves your mood.) Be aware of drinking too much kefir or it might also cause constipation instead of relieving it.
- Milk in large amounts can be dehydrating for some. In ancient Aryuvedie texts fermented milk was combined with water to create a more balanced food. This mixture was called "kurdwater" and was recommended often as a treatment for many different kinds of digestive disturbances.
- Make sure you get your magnesium. Magnesium may top the list of all the many minerals we are deficient in today. Magnesium is the calming mineral. A lack of it will contribute to constipation.
Try to increase intake of magnesium in foods or take a magnesium citrate supplement, like Peter Gilliam's CALM or Magna Calm. These two are powders and can be taken by children to help them move their bowels.
However, Donna feels it is important to have other types of magnesium supplements as well. Magnesium chloride from the Pain and Stress Center in Texas is one of our favorites. You can also purchase Magesium Asparate from your health food store in capsules. Take 400-1600 mg per day to help relax you and to help your bowels move on a regular basis.
- Eat garlic. Garlic is a healing, anti-microbial, cleansing food. Cook with it as much as possible and even swallow it whole.
- Eat Body Ecology grain-like seeds. Cooked millet, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth stimulate your colon, provide fiber and can ease constipation.
- Drink mineral water. If you feel too energetic at night to sleep and stay up late yet feel exhausted in the morning, you may be experiencing signs of dehydration.
Yes, the inability to feel sleepy can come from not drinking water during the day. Solve the problem by drinking several glasses of mineral-rich water in those three to four hours between your dinner meal and bedtime. Drink two more glasses when you wake up. Keep track of your water intake during the day to make sure are well hydrated.
Dehydration can be a sign of adrenal fatigue, however, and no amount of water will help until you heal your adrenals. For more, read:Sleeping Trouble? Discover Why Winter is the Ideal Time to Learn How to Sleep Right.
Constipation and Lifestyle
Food is not the only way to cure constipation. Here are some lifestyle options to consider:
- Self Massage in the abdominal area for 10-30 minutes per day, stimulates your peristaltic contractions and eases stress.
- Acupuncture balances you, helping you relax. It will also stimulate your colon as well.
- Breathing deeply helps your intestines (and the rest of your body) truly relax.
- Regular, vigorous exercise trains every muscle in your body including your colon and encourages regular elimination.
- The Emotional Freedom Technique - can help you balance stress and overcome addictions to foods and habits that adversely impact your health.
Remember the old saying that all "disease begins in the colon". Obviously excellent health originates from an efficiently functioning colon as well. Constipation does not need to be your way of life. Taking care of your colon allows the rest of your body to eliminate toxins, a great way to ensure your overall health!
Take a step towards health and let your colon heal your body by treating it to foods and lifestyle choices that ease elimination.