Give your body a much needed pick-me-up this spring.
With spring comes transformation. Windows are washed, lawns manicured and resolutions renewed. So much care and attention goes toward our homes during this season that we often neglect our own bodies. This spring, after you tackle that closet and part ways with old shoes and unworn clothing, spend some time addressing your own need for a little spring cleaning.
Assess Your Personal Plumbing
Colon cleansing tops the list of new obsessions in the health and fitness realm, and for good reason. Poor digestive function leads to cancer of the stomach and colon in the most extreme cases, and creates a number of undesirable symptoms in many others. Regular constipation, chronic fatigue, recurring vaginal yeast infections or rashes, a poorly functioning immune system, halitosis, excessive weight gain or bloating, abdominal gas and heartburn are all symptoms of poor colon function. Congestion and stiffness are also cues that something needs to change.
As the last pit stop for waste, the colon absorbs water, salt and certain fat soluble vitamins before waste is eliminated from the rectum. Slow moving waste creates greater opportunity for the absorption of harmful toxins, potentially opening the door to sickness and disease. Generally speaking, infrequent bowel movements are a great indicator that your waste is spending too much quality time with your colon. Stage an intervention this spring and tell your bowels to get moving.
Eat Your Veggies
You’ve heard it before. Eat your vegetables. Eating a high fiber diet and reducing intake of animal products detoxifies your body best. Certain foods are better than others at removing foreign matter from your system, such as cabbage, broccoli, beets, dandelion, parsley, and soybeans. As always, drink plenty of water. It is a well-known fact that a diet based mainly on fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer, especially cancers found in the lungs, cervix, stomach and colon.
Incorporate natural cleansers into your meals such as olive oil and lemon juice, and at least once a year, spend a short season fasting on juice, water, fruit or brown rice. Psyllium and senna work wonderfully to treat constipation, as do chia seeds. Flax seeds and dandelion root support digestion, while moderate exercise (at least 30 minutes every other day) temporarily overheats your body, killing internal pathogens and releasing toxins through your sweat. Vitamin C also works well for constipation, while B12 helps with irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion.
Strive for cleanliness over emptiness. While the media emphasizes the importance of an empty colon, a healthy colon is simply one that functions properly. A very popular at-home colon cleanse and detoxification program, DrNatura has 63 pages on its Web site devoted to personal testimonies and graphic images of discolored and often rubbery objects that many people have removed from their colons using a blend made primarily of psyllium husk and flax. In the Collins Alternative Health Guide, medical doctor Steven Bratman remarks that the nineteenth century theory that suggests bad diet leads to a clogged, toxic colon has little support. Enemas, laxatives and high colonic irrigation procedures are often indicated for constipation and removing waste before or after a medical operation, but have little scientific evidence to support their usefulness in long-term detoxification. These methods often strip your body of healthy bacteria, and may destroy normal function of your digestive system over time.
So what does this mean? Care for your body daily and don’t stress. Think about fasting on juices or fruit for a short period to give your body a kick start to healthier long-term habits. With a well-balanced diet, moderate exercise and proper hydration, you will have a much healthier colon and much more energy to tackle that closet this time next year. Worry less about future illness and more about present health. Strive for a body that can keep up with your mind, and cultivate habits that create opportunities for wellness. Give your body a much needed pick-me-up this spring. The closet can wait.
Although colon cancer has few if any symptoms, it is very treatable when caught early. Women should visit the doctor for a colonoscopy every 10 years after the age of 50 unless indicated otherwise by a health professional.