When thinking of gut health, digestion may be the first facet of wellness that comes to mind. While the gut does indeed play a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination, its significance extends far beyond that. With research showing connections between gut health and various aspects of our lives such as mood, energy levels, immune function and more, maintaining a healthy gut is of utmost importance.* While there is no universal consensus on how to maintain a healthy gut, there are lifestyle tips that can be incorporated to cleanse, reset, and further promote gut health naturally.* Keep reading to learn about the benefits of a healthy gut and colon cleanse.
Does My Gut Need a Reset?
Our organs are constantly working hard to detoxify the body. The liver metabolizes and eliminates toxins, the kidneys filter waste products, the skin detoxifies the body through sweat; these are just a few of the ways our bodies constantly work to help us stay healthy and balanced. As tirelessly as our organs may work, external influences such as modern lifestyles, dietary habits, and environmental factors can sometimes overload our systems and cause digestive imbalances. In such cases, a reset in the form of a cleanse may be beneficial.* Common indicators that you might need a cleanse may include feelings of sluggishness, persistent digestive issues, and a lack of energy.* Additionally, experiencing skin problems, mood imbalances, or brain fog might signal the need for a digestive reset.* However, it’s important to remember that everyone's body is unique, and consulting with a healthcare professional is the best way to determine if a cleanse is appropriate for your individual needs.
Eat Gut-Cleansing Foods
To kickstart your healthy cleanse, start by gradually eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol from your diet. Processed foods often contain high levels of refined sugars and artificial additives that can wreak havoc on the delicate balance of our gut microbiome, leading to a myriad of digestive issues and impacting the diversity of gut microbiota.*
During the cleanse and elimination process, it’s important not to deprive the body of calories or nutrients. Rather, to curb cravings and avoid a crash, eliminate these foods slowly, replacing them with nutrient-dense, diverse foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (avoid red meat) and whole grains. Some nutrient-dense foods to consider may include:
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are great sources of fiber and antioxidants to support the cleansing process.*
Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries provide healthy plant phenols and fiber for gut health.*
Flaxseeds: High in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds can help promote bowel regularity.*
Ginger: This root has digestive benefits and can alleviate bloating and gas.*
Fermented Foods: Foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt can be incorporated to aid with adding healthy, good bacteria to the gut.*
The Benefits of Juicing
If you’d like to take your cleanse up a notch and incorporate even more healthy vitamins and minerals into your day, consider drinking one healthy green juice daily. By extracting the nutrient-rich content from fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing can provide a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in an easily digestible form.* Opt for a balanced juice with a variety of vegetables (and some fruit), such as kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon (peeled), and ginger. Because juicing removes fiber to make room for more nutrients, remember to maintain a healthy fiber intake through other sources for optimal balance.
No juicer? No problem! Eating your fruits and vegetables whole is still a great way to get more healthy, diverse nutrients into your day.
Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber is an indispensable component of any gut cleanse- and any balanced diet, for that matter. Fiber refers to the indigestible plant material found in foods. There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber, which can dissolve in water and promotes feelings of fullness, and insoluble fiber, which acts as a bulking agent and promotes healthy bowel movements.* Despite its importance, many Americans fall short on their daily recommended fiber intake, with only 5% of Americans consuming the daily recommendation of 28 grams of fiber daily.
To incorporate more fiber into your cleanse (and your daily diet), try consuming these fiber-rich foods:
Chia Seeds: Rich in soluble fiber, chia seeds form a gel-like consistency that aids in gentle bowel movements. Try adding 1 Tbsp of chia seeds to your juice or water.
Flaxseeds: These powerful seeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Sprinkle them over a healthy salad or incorporate them into a sauce.
Psyllium Husk: This natural plant fiber is often used as a gentle laxative to promote healthy bowel movements.
Apples: One medium apple provides 4.4 g of dietary fiber.
Broccoli: This popular veggie is a versatile source of fiber. Add it to stews, stir-fries, or try dipping it in hummus.
Other Lifestyle Tips to Support a Cleanse
During a gut reset, regular exercise and hydration is a winning combination. Regular physical activity helps stimulate the digestive system, aiding in the elimination of toxins and waste from the body while promoting healthy bowel movements. Concurrently, staying hydrated supports the cleansing process by flushing out impurities and preventing dehydration-induced digestive issues. For a perfect wellness trifecta, sleep in line with your body’s circadian rhythm to further promote gut health, since studies have linked sleep deprivation to a less diverse microbiome.*
Supplements for Gut Health and Cleansing
Dietary supplements can be beneficial to gut health both during a cleanse and as part of a daily wellness regimen, but it’s important to know the difference. As part of a daily wellness regimen, consider supplementing with herbs such as Nature’s Lab Ginger Supreme, which contains ginger root standardized to 20% gingerols to promote digestive health.* Quercetin with Bromelain contains digestive enzymes to further promote gut health, while Apple Cider Vinegar with Chromium promotes healthy digestion and glucose metabolism.*
To support gut health during a cleanse, supplement options like Nature’s Lab Gold 14-Day Colon Cleanse can support the body’s detoxification processes.* This supplement is formulated with eight nutrients specifically selected to promote gut and digestive health.* With 1 to 2 capsules per day up to 14 days, 14-Day Colon Cleanse promotes regular digestive movement with nutrients such as senna leaf, psyllium husk, cascara sagrada, and flaxseed.* Aloe vera gel is also included to promote gut balance while soothing the digestive tract, while Lactobacillus acidophilus promotes probiotic diversity.* Learn more about 14-Day Colon cleanse here.
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