A complete colon cleanse will begin with fasting, adding herbal supplements, and eating only certain types of food for several weeks to several months. Whether you're ready to go the whole route or if you want to begin with smaller steps, several foods are known to be very beneficial for colon health.
Depending on how healthy an individual has been eating and how much waste is impacted in the colon, a cleanse accomplished with diet alone typically can take from three weeks to four months. This is to be expected since many people have been eating a great deal of processed and refined foods for years and sometimes decades. These types of foods are particularly likely to result in mucoid plaque sticking to the sides of one's colon (also known as the large intestine), material which is not always eliminated with regular bowel movements. This plaque can cause toxicity, constipation, and disease.
In addition, people on a typical American diet are sometimes holding three or four days worth of waste in a sluggish colon before the waste is removed. Toxins can be reprocessed into a person's body, creating bad breath, fatigue, malaise, and susceptibility to illness. A healthy colon eliminates waste within less than a day and usually provides at least two bowel movements a day.
The following foods are listed in order of importance for a colon cleansing diet. This type of diet can begin with only the first item and slowly add the others, or if that seems too extreme, a more modified version can be adapted according to your preferences. In general, a person should eat as few cooked foods as possible -- ideally, steamed vegetables and rice would be the only cooked foods.
Drinking lots of water is most important for a healthy colon and essential for colon cleansing, as it serves to flush out the loose material and toxins. Six to 10 eight-ounce glasses a day, depending on weight and activity level, are usually ideal.
Raw fruit and vegetables are the next components to add. The best fruit for a healthy colon are apples, berries, and prunes, although all fruit is beneficial. The best vegetables are green ones. Spinach, broccoli, watercress, kale, chard, and beet greens are perfect leafy vegetables for a healthy colon. Celery, broccoli, cucumbers, and any other green vegetables are excellent additions. A person can eat as much of these as desired, although people with glycemic issues should be cautious about juicing.
Nuts and seeds can be added, and are better if raw. Flax seed is considered by many to be a miracle food with many benefits including lowering cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, and combating diabetes. In regard to colon health, flax seeds absorb water and expand, assisting in removal of toxins and mucus. Whole flax seeds can be ground and added to food.
Almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are very beneficial in a colon cleansing diet also.
Fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds provide an excellent amount of fiber, enough for a healthy colon if eaten in large enough amounts. However, most people are not eating the recommended five servings a day. High-fiber grains can be added if you feel that the diet as it stands now is too restrictive. The best high-fiber grains for a healthy colon are wheat bran, brown rice, oats, and barley. White bread, white pasta, and white rice should be completely avoided. Bread should have all natural ingredients, without bleached flour, or artificial additives such as high fructose corn syrup.
Another great source of fiber is legumes. Black beans, navy beans, lima beans, lentils, peas, and many more of this food type can be used to add variety to a diet that is perfect for restoring colon health.