Gut Cleanse/Detox: How to Cleanse your Gut naturally?
The gut isn’t just where your food digests: it works as the second brain, sending signals to other parts of the body and maintaining overall health. And when your gut is in trouble, it’s imperative that you undergo a gut cleanse.
The gut is called the ‘second brain’ for a reason. It is the bedrock of your physical and mental health. Basically, it reflects how healthy you feel about yourself. When the gut is under stress due to any reason (overeating, lack of sleep or sickness), you may experience digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, and heartburn.
On the other hand, a healthy gut suggests good digestive health, clear skin, better sleep, and less stress. Here is how to better take care of your gut.
The Gut Microbiome
On average, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. This is known as a “microbiome”, which affects everything from skin and sexual health to your energy levels and hormone balance. At the same time, the microbes in the gut also act as a protective shield against foreign bodies, which have the potential to harm our health.
We all have a unique microbiome. These bacteria found in our gut are also vital to maintain efficient digestion and help it synthesise vitamins such as B12, folic acid, and thiamine.
The diversity of the gut bacteria plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy both mentally and physically.
Gut Health & Overall Health
Most importantly, a healthy gut fantastically assists and improves immunity. More often than not, the gut health goes for a toss, for many reasons - excess toxins in our environment, infection, poor diet, stress, overuse of antibiotics, skipping meals, improper sleep, diet sodas, constant stress, not chewing your food properly, not drinking enough water, too much caffeine, chronic illness - the list goes on.
When this happens, the microbes in the gut send signals that adversely influence our mood and body. Some of the common signs of poor gut health are upset stomach, fatigue, weight fluctuation, dull skin, and even anxiety. But this can be managed with a gut cleanse.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Gut?
Here are a few signs and symptoms that all may not be well in your gut.
- You feel moody and/or depressed: If the gut is not functioning properly, it becomes difficult for the body to absorb the nutrient ‘tryptophan’, which is important to make the hormone serotonin, which keeps us happy. (Serotonin cannot be stored in the body.) As a result, you feel us sad, depressed, and anxious.
- You face bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or gas: One of the obvious signs of an unhealthy gut is a poor digestive system. It tells us that the gut bacteria is out of balance and thus, the problem is manifesting itself through digestive issues, indicating that we may need a gut cleanse.
- You are under constant stress: Stress is your gut health’s worst enemy. An unhealthy gut causes inflammation in the body and as a result, you feel stressed. On the other hand, when your body & mind are under stress, it creates trouble for the gut. When the gut is under stress, it impacts your whole mood. In fact, stress can affect the movement and contraction of the digestive tract and many experts consider it to be a risk factor for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- You have intense sugar cravings: Odd but true, the unlikely source of your sugar cravings is an unhealthy gut. Conversely, excess sugar intake in the form of refined flour, processed foods or packaged foods feed the bad bacteria, which causes inflammation in the body.
- You feel sick when the seasons change: For some of us, season change means compulsory sick leave. Poor gut health makes us vulnerable to season change. As we know, good gut health helps boost the immune system keeping us safe from seasonal infections.
- Your poop changes colour & consistency: Stool consistency is strongly associated with the gut microbiome - and if you notice something off, then you certainly need a gut cleanse! If you see stark changes in the colour and consistency of your stool, it is advisable to talk to your health professional.
If you show any of these symptoms, then you probably need a gut cleanse.
How To Cleanse Your Gut Naturally
You can cleanse your gut with the right foods associated with a gut cleanse diet and better eating habits.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Focus on eating fruits and veggies, which will help the good bacteria grow in your gut. Limit the intake of dairy, however, you can have buttermilk. Include whole grains and more good fats such as avocado and coconut in your diet.
- Intermittent fasting: Like your body and mind, your gut also needs some “me-time’ to rest, rejuvenate and reboot to function optimally. A good way to give break to the gut flora and microbiota is intermittent fasting. It helps reduce inflammation and bloating. You can also start with 12-16 hours of fasting.
- Reduced salt intake: Indulging in high salt diets can alter the gut microbiota and lead to hypertension or autoimmune disease. Excessive salt intake may lead to bloating and water retention in the body.
- Hydrate well and often: Water is all you need. Any gut detox plan is incomplete without including plenty of water. If you can’t commit to gallons of water, then you can also look at liquid substitutes like coconut water, vegetable juice, and soups, or a simple gut detox drink like kefir or water infused with cucumber, ginger, lime and mint. These are some simple home remedies for gut cleansing. Most importantly, you must remove sugar, salt, and caffeine from your routine.
- Eat more alkaline foods: Bring the balance in your back with Alkaline foods, which are known to work wonders in maintaining the pH balance in the body. Add alkaline foods such as coriander seeds water, coconut water, and seeds in your gut cleanse diet plan.
What Foods Are Bad For Your Gut?
Some of the worst foods and products for your gut include:
- Processed and refined flours and grains
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Red meat
- Antibiotic pills
Who Needs A Gut Cleanse?
Pretty much all of us can use a gut cleanse every once in a while, just to rest and reset our systems and boost digestive power and immunity. But if you show any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms, then you definitely need a gut cleanse as soon as possible.
Consult a medical expert and get advice on how to cleanse your gut naturally with gut cleansing foods like probiotics, greens and fluids.
What Should You Know Before Doing A Natural Gut Cleanse?
Here are some other things to keep in mind before you start a gut cleanse:
- Consult a clinical nutritionist before you start your detox.
- Don't exclude any food group without specialist advice.
- Don't start or end it abruptly.
- In case you experience any discomfort, consult your doctor or nutritionist.
- Discuss all your medical history and present medications or supplements with your nutritionist before chalking out a gut detox plan for yourself.
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How do you clean out your gut?
You can clean out you gut by eating a healthy diet or following a gut cleanse diet for a period of time, coupled with fixed meal times, proper sleep and exercise.
How long does it take to detox your colon?
If you opt for colon cleansing, which is a process of flushing out waste and toxins from your bowels with the targeted use of water, you can visit a certified practitioner and get it done in less than an hour.
Why can't I empty my bowels fully?
There are a number of reasons why this could be happening. Bloating and gas could be one reason. A poor diet with less fibre and fluids could be another reason.
And even diseases, disorders and conditions that affect the large intestine, rectum, and pelvic muscles can interfere with normal bowel movement. You should consult a doctor if the problem persists.
What is the best food to flush out your bowels?
Fresh fruits and vegetables that offer up lots of fibre and hydration are the best foods to help clean your bowels and keep things moving along. Leafy greens, oatmeal, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetable and fruit smoothies are gut-healthy foods.
What is a gut-healthy diet?
A gut health diet is one that is rich in fibre, probiotics, fluids and alkalising foods. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, probiotics like yogurt and fermented foods, plenty of fluids and gut detox drinks like kefir and cucumber-lime-ginger-mint water.