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The Bowel- The Neglected Organ of Detox





The bowel which consists of the small and large intestine, also known as the colon, must be working well before you start any detox diet or detox program. Toxins that come from your food, water, personal care products, and the environment pose a serious threat to your health. The intestines play an important part in getting rid of them safely.


Although the liver is the main organ of detoxification about 25% of detox is done by enzymes in the healthy bacteria in the bowel and the cells lining it. From here the toxins go to the liver where they are neutralised and then carried out of the body through the bile and feces via the intestines where they must be expelled quickly from the body. 


If your bowels are sluggish, congested or you are constipated the toxins can be reabsorbed back into your circulation. An excess of bad or unhealthy bacteria in your bowel can separate toxins from the molecule the liver attaches to it to make it safe and help its detoxification. Your liver can be overwhelmed with toxins from your bowel and they begin to accumulate in your body.    


Dr Bernard Jensen the famous American Naturopath apparently said  “In the 50 years I've spent helping people to overcome illness, disability and disease, it has become crystal clear that poor bowel management lies at the root of most people's health problems” 


Don’t start a detox diet or detox program unless your bowels are moving well twice or three times a day or it could be a wasted effort. Fiber from fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains helps to keep the toxins bound up in the feces. 


The length of time it takes food to travel through the digestive system is typically 30 hours in cultures that eat a high fiber diet containing about 100 – 170gms daily. Americans and Europeans typically eat as little as 20gms a day and have a very unhealthy transit time of 48 hours or more.  


Many detoxification programs incorporate a bowel or colon cleanse or advise one before beginning. I certainly agree that it is important to make sure your bowels are moving well before starting on a specific program.


Start by throwing out all the junk and processed foods from your diet and eating more fresh vegetables and wholegrains. Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, contain high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as being an excellent source for many other nutrients. Fiber helps to maintain healthy bowel function. Freshly ground flaxseed has a pleasant nutty flavor and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Sprinkle over cereals, toast, yogurts, salads and many other foods. 


Solid waste cannot be excreted without water. Stool water depends on how much water we drink. Our bodies are at least 60% water. Fruit and vegetables contain some but you also need at least 8 – 10  x 8 ox glasses of pure water a day depending on your size, activities and weather. 


Generally much more water is needed if a bowel cleanse that includes psyllium husks is used as they absorb water from the bowel.


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