Seldom in today’s society do we find a truly healthy colon. Many of the problems and ailments in our society can be linked to an underactive colon. The toxic waste it produces is unfortunately absorbed into our system and this contributes to many diseases. Slow transit time allows toxins and putrefaction time to cause damage. Cancer of the bowel has been linked to a consistently slow transit time. I find this interesting, that I have become a colon hydrotherapist, as ironic as it may seem, my maternal grandmother died of colon cancer.
What is a normal transit time? How fast should food move through your system? Is there such a thing as too fast? We know that too slow is not good. And even if you are eliminating every day, how long was that particular meal sitting inside you? Too fast is just as bad! A very short transit time means malabsorption and chronic diarrhea, both are damaging to your health.
It normally takes 18 – 24 hours to eliminate a meal. Your small intestine is about 23 feet long and your large intestine is about 5 feet long. That’s a very long windy tube for your food to have to move through!! The small intestine pulls out the nutrients and the colon pulls out the water. Yes, it is much more complicated than that, but basically that is what happens to the food you eat.
The colon works best when it is full of water, hence, my write up on the importance of drinking the correct amount of water each day. As well, a diet too low in fiber and too high in processed foods is the major cause of colon problems.
Fiber, fiber, fiber. What exactly is fiber and how much should we be having? In a nutshell, fiber is whatever is left over in your digestive system that your body cannot use and needs to eliminate as waste. The amount of fiber we need each day is 25-30 grams. Most of us are only having about 15 grams each day and this is the reason for our slow transit times. The follow is a short list of foods with higher fiber content.
Apple with skin: 3.5 grams
½ cup Blackberries: 4.4 grams
Orange: 3.5 grams
1 cup raw spinach: 5 grams 1 cup
Zucchini: 3.5 grams
½ cup baked beans: 8 grams
½ cup chick peas: 6 grams
1 cup broccoli: 6 grams
1 cup carrots: 4.6 grams
½ cup corn: 4 grams
½ cup cucumber: 4.5 grams
1 cup romaine lettuce: 1.2 grams
½ cup 7 or 8 grain cereal: 5 grams
1 slice brown bread: 2 grams
3 cups popcorn: 2.8 grams ½ cup
Whole grain pasta: 3.5 grams
½ cup brown rice: 1.8 grams
12 almonds: 1.5 grams
3 Tbsp flax seeds: 1.6 grams
12 walnuts: 4 grams
Fiber is exclusively a plant nutrient. Plants need fiber for structural support. Animals have bones and muscles, so fiber is not a significant part of their composition. Whenever we increase our animal intake to plant foods, we increase our fiber.
One way I’ve chosen to increase my daily fiber intake is by making a veggie smoothie each morning. I toss in lettuce, kale, celery, cucumber, ½ green apple, juice from one whole lemon, flax seeds, psyllium, mint leaves, chlorophyll liquid, concentrate berry juice, stevia, olive oil, chia seeds or hemp hearts and Wholly Tea or water. All this goes into a bullet cup, I grind it up and my cells can hardly wait for me to drink it! It looks nasty but I love it. I just put in whatever fresh vegetables I can find at the store so each week is a little bit different. Try it! You too will learn to love it and your colon will thank you each day….maybe even more!!