Cleansing Reactions and Bowel Health

This is a follow-up to my last blog post about bowel health, if you haven’t already read that article I suggest that you take a few minutes to read it first. You can find the last blog post here.

Cleansing reactions can be an uncomfortable side-effect of transitioning to a whole-foods eating plan… but don’t let this discomfort stop you from eating healthy! Some people make the mistake of quitting before they have even started, because after a day (or a few days) of eating healthy they find that their bowel movements have changed and they don’t feel amazing yet. Sometimes they even feel more yucky from the changes!

You need to remember that these changes are your body’s way of getting rid of the garbage and toxins that it has been holding on to. The increased fiber will help your body to get rid of the waste that has been sitting in your gut, which in turn helps to improve your health and over-all wellness.

But, the initial toxin-releasing reaction can make you feel sick. The body has been holding onto this waste for quite some time, so when it is finally released is can make you feel icky until the body works all of it out. Once you have gone through the cleansing period, your digestive system will balance out so that your body can effectively remove the waste everyday.

Also, remember this:

Many people are in a constant state of constipation, they don’t realize that daily bowel movements are healthy. Our Standard American Diet consists of meats, processed foods, dairy products, and refined ingredients and these foods take a toll on our digestive system. Eating these types of foods on a regular basis can cause the digestive system to slow down, which means that the food is sitting in your gut causing problems.

Some sources even suggest that a bowel movement every few days is “normal”… but take a minute to consider the context of “normal” in our country that is facing an epidemic of poor health. Don’t settle for “average” health just because everyone else around you is letting their bodies get sick from the food that they are eating!

Food that you are eating should enter and leave your body within 24 hours, if it sits longer than that it starts to rot and causes your body to collect toxins and garbage that make you sick.

Here’s a good example to help you understand this concept:

Think about the food that you ate for lunch today. When it enters your body, it is in an environment that is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature of the human body). During this time, it moves through the stomach and digestive system and the body strips the food of as many nutrients as possible, and then the body discards the waste through natural processes such as bowel movements, sweating, etc.

But, what if you took that meal and instead of eating it you mashed it up together and let it sit for a few days in a warm, moist environment. What would happen? The food would start to rot and stink!

The same thing happens in your body. If you are not having regular bowel movements, the food will rot in your gut. No wonder bowel movements can be so stinky, LOL!

Once you get past the cleansing reactions, it is amazing to see how the body functions so well when it is given whole, clean foods. High fiber diets can help the body to eliminate waste every day, which decreases the bloating and discomfort associated with a slow digestive system. It also helps to improve health, because the body can efficiently get rid of waste when it is given the right types of food.

If you are experiencing cleansing reactions, drinking water is a great way to help your body cleanse and get rid of the waste, so be sure that you increase your water intake as you increase the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that you are eating.

Also, stay strong! Continue to eat whole foods that promote health! Allow your body to cleanse, and continue eating healthy foods so that your body can balance out and digest the foods more efficiently. Focusing your eating on high-fiber, nutrient dense foods will provide your body with the building blocks that it needs to be healthy and strong. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc all have nutrients and fiber to promote health and prevent disease.

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