“Most proponents of colonic irrigation deny any adverse effects, but one text states that possible side effects are nausea, diarrhea and nervous disturbances. he risks of electrolyte imbalance or water intoxication are either omitted entirely or downplayed.”

In short, there are numerous arguments for and against internal cleansing. We acknowledge that it can make you feel like a new you – lighter, cleaner and healthier – but the decision to book in a colonic session shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have any doubts about your eligibility or the risks involved, speak to a medical professional.

OTHER OPTIONS

If you’re not ready to take on the colonics end of the cleansing spectrum, you can still try to master your digestive discomfort with a colon-friendly diet. Top of the list is fermented foods, such as yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi. these promote the proliferation of healthy gut flora. “Fermentation creates a host of beneficial micro-organisms in food, increasing its digestibility,” says Michele Wolff, naturopath and author of Digestive Solutions. “It can also increase the nutritional content of the food.”

A diet high in soluble and insoluble fiber – found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and some grains – and including plenty of water will also help the movement of food through your gut. Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber (or roughage) does not dissolve in water and so helps increase the transit time of things through your bowels. A diet high in magnesium, says Wolff, will also help with spasms and cramps. Buckwheat, brown rice, nuts and seeds are rich sources of magnesium.

There are also some digestive enemies. “Foods that can cause inflammation include refined starches, sugar, junk food, poor fats, lack of antioxidants, coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks,” Wolff says. “Gluten found in barley, rye, oats and wheat can cause inflammation for many people and the sensitivity in its severe form results in coeliac disease.”

Being physically active is also one of the best ways to promote healthy digestion and elimination, and prevent constipation. It supplies fresh oxygen to the blood and enhances all the body’s functions through improved circulation.

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