Part 1: Do You Really Need A Detox?May 7, 2021
The Ultimate Nutrition Guide for Back to SchoolSeptember 19, 2021
Further to discussing the Liver and Gallbladder functions in Part 1: Do You Really Need a Detox?, let’s continue with learning more about the importance of bowel functions and other detox methods.
1. The Role of the Colon
Imagine you are trying to clean your home, but you never take out the garbage, and you never open the windows, or the doors.
Garbage and dirt would pile up and even if you tried to contain it in one area, it would start to spread. You would be working overtime, but the house would never be clean. This is how your liver feels when your colon isn’t functioning properly, and you are not having enough bowel movements.
Constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per day, or a transit time of less than 24 hours.
A lot of people go once per day on average, meaning sometimes they skip a day, sometimes they go in the morning, sometimes it’s the evening. These people are chronically constipated.
Ideally you should have 2-3 bowel movements per day. When your bowels are regular, your body can effectively remove waste and toxins. If the bowels are not regular, some of these toxins will become reabsorbed.
A good example of this is cholesterol; excess cholesterol is processed by the liver and excreted through the bowels.
However, if you are backed up, the cholesterol will become reabsorbed, elevating the cholesterol levels in your blood. Something similar can happen with estrogens in the body. This means that it is possible to lower your cholesterol levels and balance hormones, simply by addressing bowel issues. Here’s how to keep your bowels healthy:
- Water: The bowels are one of the last places to receive water. Aim for about 3L per day and see what flows out.
- Fibre: Fibre and water go hand-in-hand when it comes to bowel health. Fibre without water can be binding though, so be careful. Luckily, there are certain foods that have the perfect balance of fibre and water. They are called…(drum roll please)…. fruits and vegetables. Isn’t it amazing? Nature has created the perfect balance of carbohydrates, water, and fibre for us in the form of vegetables and fruits, and most come with their own pretty packaging as well. Just simply including lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet should be enough to get adequate fibre intake for healthy bowel movements. For extra bowel support, try mixing a tablespoon of chia seeds, or flax seeds in water. The gelatinous property of the flax and chia help to absorb those excess toxins and move them out the bowels.
- Microbiome: It’s so important to keep your microbiome healthy. If you are still having bowel issues, even though you are consuming enough fibre and water, there may be some underlying dysbiosis to address. Dysbiosis is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. You can keep your gut bacteria healthy by taking a daily pro-biotic, avoiding sugar, and addressing candida overgrowth.
2. More Natural Detoxification Methods
- Exercise: Just simply walking helps to stimulate lymphatic flow and release toxins. Toxins are also released through the sweat glands.
- Deep Breathing: This may sound simple, but our lungs do filter our toxins. Also, deep breathing encourages our body to remain calm in parasympathetic nervous system. This improves digestion and detoxification.
- Clean Living: The best way to get toxins out of your body is to not put them there in the first place. Choose organic produce wherever possible, use natural cosmetics, body products and household products.
Undertaking a diet or cleanse has its merits. While there is no need to fast or take a bunch of supplements, it can be beneficial to give your liver a “break” every now and then, while increasing liver-supporting foods. A good example would be a candida cleanse. However, we believe it is equally important to incorporate these simple detox habits into your daily life. It is equivalent to brushing your teeth everyday and having a routine dental cleaning. Both are important for overall health.
Our liver can handle a lot. In fact, you can remove 60%-75% of the liver and still have it function as normal. It will quietly work away no matter what shape it is in. Many other organs and systems are dependent on the liver to properly function.
So regardless of your age, lifestyle, or current health, it is never too soon or too late to start taking care of your liver.
If you are looking to make changes to your food habits in order to improve your health, we can help. Just reach out to us via text, call, DM or email.
Certified Nutritionist Kirsten Colella incorporates daily cleansing habits to keep her digestive functions humming. Kirsten showcases her new recipes, including those with fibre for a healthy colon. You can find Kirsten’s delicious recipes, colourful food pics and fibre-rich healthy food ideas on our Instagram page at @essentialbalanceholistic.