In the United States, between 60 and 70 million people struggle with digestive diseases each year.
Are you part of this group? Did you know that many digestive illnesses are caused or worsened by poor colon (or large intestine) health?
In this guide, you’ll learn more about how the colon works and some potential warning signs of poor colon health to watch for. You’ll also discover simple strategies to keep your colon clean and healthy.
What Is the Colon?
The colon (also known as the large intestine or large bowel) is an essential organ in the digestive system.
After food has been broken down in the stomach and small intestine, it moves to the colon, where bacteria continue breaking it down.
When this process ends, the colon moves leftover food to the rectum. From here, it can eventually be eliminated from the body in the form of a bowel movement.
Signs of Poor Colon Health
Because so many organs contribute to the digestive process, it’s not always easy to determine when issues with the colon are the source of your digestive distress.
Here are some common warning signs that indicate you’re dealing with poor colon health:
One of the most obvious signs that you’re dealing with poor colon health is frequent stomach upset. If your stomach often hurts or you regularly experience bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, that may indicate that your colon needs some extra attention.
Many people who struggle with poor digestion — including those with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS — also experience increased fatigue. If you’ve been feeling tired more often than usual, there’s a chance your digestive system isn’t functioning as well as it could be.
One reason you might feel extra tired when dealing with poor digestive health is that improper digestion can impact your sleep quality.
For example, if you’re constantly struggling with heartburn or an upset stomach, it’s hard to get sufficient sleep or sleep soundly through the night. As a result, you’ll feel more tired and sluggish throughout the day.
Poor digestive health can also impact your weight. If you’ve recently experienced significant weight gain or loss — without intentionally increasing or decreasing calories — issues with your colon and the digestive system could contribute.
For example, poor digestion may cause you to retain water, experience constipation, and become bloated, resulting in a higher number on the scale. On the flip side, it could also interfere with nutrient absorption and cause you to lose weight rapidly without actively trying.
How to Keep Your Colon Healthy and Clean
If any of the health issues discussed above sound familiar, you might need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle. Positive changes will ensure your colon functions properly and stays clean and healthy.
The following are some of the best strategies you can implement to care for your colon:
Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber is one of the best nutrients for your colon. It is an undigestible carbohydrate that helps to reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and move food through the digestive system, encouraging regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
You can get fiber from various sources, including the following:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread, pasta, etc.
- Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.)
Ideally, you’ll consume between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day (primarily from whole foods, although you can use supplements to fill in the gaps).
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can help you meet your daily fiber goal and improve digestion. Some of the best fruits and vegetables for colon health include:
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
- Leafy greens (kale, collard greens, spinach, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts
In addition to increasing your daily fiber intake, fruits and vegetables also provide other valuable micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, etc.) that enhance overall health and ensure your digestion system functions correctly.
Reduce Processed Food Intake
Along with increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, you can also support your colon health by reducing your processed food intake.
Processed foods like chips, crackers, baked goods, and fast food are often high in saturated fat. Some research suggests that a diet high in saturated fat can increase your risk of colon cancer and impact digestive health.
You don’t have to eliminate these foods from your diet altogether, but it’s better to consume them in moderation.
Drinking plenty of water also helps to keep your colon clean and ensures food moves through your digestive system efficiently.
Remember, the human body is approximately 60 percent water, so it makes sense that your digestive system (and other systems) rely on it to function correctly.
How much water should you drink?
Many experts suggest drinking at least half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, aim for 90 ounces of water.
Consume Colon Support Supplements
Sometimes, you need a little extra help to care for your colon and keep your digestive system regular. In these cases, a colon cleansing supplement can be a beneficial addition.
Look for all-natural supplements that contain ingredients like cascara sagrada bark extract and senna leaf powder.
Cascara sagrada contains chemicals that naturally stimulate the colon and produce a laxative effect. Senna leaf powder has a similar outcome. It contains chemicals called sennosides that stimulate the colon lining and move food through the digestive system faster.
Enhance Your Colon Health with Substance
If you’re dealing with stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive issues, you may need to start paying more attention to your diet and overall colon health.
Follow the guidelines discussed above so you can improve your digestion and promote a clean, properly functioning colon.
Do you need some additional support? Use supplements like Substance’s Colon Cleanse.
This product is made in the USA, vegan, and non-GMO, making it a perfect option for anyone seeking a wholesome, plant-based product to improve their digestion.
Try our colon cleanse supplement today.