Up to 80 percent of your immune system can be found in your gut, which means a properly functioning digestive system is the foundation for optimal health. Still, digestive diseases affect nearly 70 million Americans every year, resulting in more than 20 million hospitalizations and close to 250,000 deaths.i What can we do to change that?
At the heart of a healthy digestive system is a healthy colon (or large intestine). The colon is one of the seven channels of elimination and its primary function is to eliminate unwanted waste from the body. However, an unhealthy or sluggish colon can’t perform at its peak and may allow harmful toxins to build up inside the intestinal lining. This can result in a number of health problems affecting the colon and beyond. Here are 6 ways to love your colon every day:
- Colon hydrotherapy: In order for your digestive system and your whole body to function optimally, toxins that have accumulated must be purged from the system. Natural colon hydrotherapy is a safe and effective way to help cleanse the system and improve digestive health and elimination.
- Eat fermented foods:Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut help nourish the beneficial bacteria in the colon to support healthy digestive function. In addition, they provide support for the delicate intestinal barrier.
- Eat more fiber:A healthy colon requires bulk to eliminate regularly, and fiber helps provide that bulk. Aim for at least 35 grams a day from non-starchy veggies and low-sugar fruits. If you have trouble getting enough fiber in your diet, try adding a natural flax-based fiber supplement that provides a balance of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Avoid fibers that could be binding, such as psyllium, as they can leave the colon dehydrated.
- Drink plenty of water: Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis (the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines) and help ease elimination. Try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of purified water each day.
- Get plenty of exercise: Regular exercise promotes healthy circulation and blood flow, which in turn supports the healthy function of your colon and your entire digestive system. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
Consider an herbal colon cleanse: A natural colon cleanse formula made with fiber, magnesium hydroxide (to help hydrate the bowel) and herbal ingredients supports the body’s natural cleansing processes and promotes regular, healthy elimination.‡
A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency brings good news for public health. According to the EPA, in just over two decades the organization has taken great strides toward its goal of significantly reducing toxic air pollution as required under the 1990 updates to the Clean Air Act.
Even as the economy has grown, there has been a reduction in the emissions of six common pollutants (including benzene, mercury and lead) by an average of 72 percent nationwide—and Americans today breathe less pollution and face lower risks of premature death and other serious health effects.i Environmental damage from air pollution is also significantly lower; many plants and factories are cleaner; and countless new vehicles feature improved emission control technologies. (The EPA also hopes to reduce motor vehicle air toxin emissions by 80 percent by the year 2030.)
“It shows that we’ve made considerable gains in improving air quality across the country,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a recent article, though the organization says there is still much more work to be done. Among the major challenges are limiting climate change, reducing health and environmental risks from toxic air pollutants, and protecting the fragile ozone layer against degradation.
In working toward improving air quality and public health, the EPA says it also plans to increase public awareness about air pollution—in part by requiring companies that produce large amounts of emissions to report to EPA officials, who will then make sure the public has access to the information.