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.‡
There is no magic bullet for losing weight and keeping it off—but there are things you can do each day to make sure you get the most out of your weight loss efforts. Here are the 7 Metabolic Boosters that will help you maximize weight loss and achieve healthy weight management by supporting your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories to run all of your bodily functions).
- Frequent eating (5–6 times daily): Studies have shown that your metabolism increases by as much as 30 percent during eating and digestion. By eating smaller portions every two to three hours or so, your metabolism is continually fired up to help you burn even more calories. (Fasting, on the other hand, lowers your metabolism.)
- Muscle boosting:Muscle cells are about 8X more metabolically demanding than fat cells, so the greater your ratio of lean body mass to fat, the faster your metabolism runs and the more calories you burn. A good strength training program can help increase your metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent to help with weight loss and long-term weight management.
- Aerobic exercise: Aerobic activity heightens your metabolism during and even after your workout (especially if the exercise is high-intensity) to help you burn more calories. It also helps maintain lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism to help you continually burn calories. Combine aerobic activity with strength training for maximum benefit.
- Drinking plenty of water: Researchers in Germany found that drinking 16 ounces of water can increase your resting metabolic rate by as much as 30 percent. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day, and try to drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before eating to help prevent overeating.
- Getting eight hours of sleep every night: The connection between sleep and weight loss has to do with two important hormones: leptin (which tells the body you are full and to stop eating) and ghrelin (which signals hunger). When you are sleep deprived, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase, causing you to eat more. Getting at least eight hours of sleep each night is critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism.
- Using the sauna: Did you know you can actually burn extra calories by simply relaxing in the heat? Your body uses 0.568 calorie to evaporate 1 gram of sweat, so the more you sweat, the more calories you will burn! Note: it is important to gradually increase your time in a sauna and drink enough water to keep up with the sweating.
Detoxification: Research has shown that toxins slow down the body’s metabolic rate, decrease satiety (resulting in increased caloric intake), and limit your ability to burn fat. Regular cleansing and detox can help eliminate toxins and assist with healthy weight management.