Has your digestion been sluggish recently? If so, a colon cleanse may be just what you need.
By clearing out the toxins from your gut, you can improve your digestion and your overall health. After all, your gut health is closely linked to your immune system, nutrient absorption, metabolism, and mood regulation (1).
Cleansing your gut doesn’t mean that you have to go on a restrictive juice diet. Your body knows how to naturally detox itself when you give it the right foods. To that end, let’s review ten of the best foods you can use to cleanse your gut.
What Does it Mean to “Cleanse Your Gut?”
Cleansing the gut simply means flushing out your colon. The colon, known as the large intestine, is one of the primary organs in your digestive tract. Here’s a brief breakdown of how your digestive system works:
- Ingestion – Ingestion is the most exciting part of the digestive process—it’s when you get to eat!
- Digestion – During digestion, your stomach uses digestive enzymes to break down your food into absorbable compounds.
- Absorption – Next, your food moves from the stomach to the small intestine, where important vitamins and minerals are absorbed.
- Assimilation – Once your body has absorbed all the valuable nutrients from your food, it assimilates them into your cells, giving you the energy you need to take on the day.
- Egestion – Finally, the remaining material from your meal moves into your colon, where it gets ready to leave your body.
Generally, it takes between 24 hours and five days for a meal to make it through this entire journey (2). The speed of your digestion will depend on a variety of factors, including the types of foods you eat.
Who Needs a Gut Cleanse?
You may benefit from a gut cleanse if you experience any of these signs of an unhealthy gut:
- Irregular bowel movement
- Digestive discomfort
These scenarios may indicate that you have a build-up of waste within your digestive system. Consuming cleansing foods is one of the easiest answers to, how to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut? Cleansing foods you can get everything moving again and flush it all out to restore your healthy gut.
After cleansing the gut, many people report improved digestion and increased energy.
10 Foods to Cleanse Gut
Now that you know what cleansing your gut is all about, let’s take a look at some foods that can kick start the process in a healthy way.
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens offer a host of health benefits. Not only are they imbued with minerals and antioxidants, but they also offer a ton of fiber (3).
Fiber is essential if you want to cleanse your gut. It gives your digested material the bulk it needs to pass through the digestive system smoothly. Without enough fiber, you may experience slower digestion and constipation.
By adding kale, spinach, or chard to your diet, their fiber content will get your digestive system moving.
Note: If you’re prone to digestive issues, you may want to cook your greens before you eat them. Cooking vegetables often makes them easier to digest. Sauteing and steaming are two great ways to cook your leafy greens.
Dark, leafy greens aren’t the only source of fiber you can use for your gut cleanse. Many other types of vegetables offer high amounts of fiber. By consuming them in abundance, colon cleansing becomes more rapid.
Additionally, most vegetables are also low in fat and calories. What they lack in calories, they make up for in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (4).
Some high-fiber veggies that you can add to your diet include:
- Green peas
- Brussels sprouts
Note: Just like with leafy greens, cooking your vegetables can make them easier to digest. Sauteing veggies in some healthy fats (like olive oil or avocado oil) can help you absorb more of their nutrients (5).
Herbs are another flavorful addition to your diet that may help you cleanse your gut. These small-but-mighty plants can relieve bloating, gas, digestive discomfort, and more (6).
Depending on your flavor preferences, you can use any of the following herbs to support your gut cleanse:
Try steeping some of these herbs in a cleansing tea or tossing them over your favorite cuisine.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper didn’t earn its place in the infamous Master Cleanse for nothing. This powerful spice can help you cleanse your gut fast. If you don’t mind a little heat in your meals, cayenne pepper has been shown to stimulate:
- Saliva production – Cayenne pepper can stimulate your salivary glands (7), which kickstart the entire digestive process.
- Gastric juices – Cayenne pepper can also increase your stomach’s production of gastric fluid (8), enabling your digestion to carry on smoothly.
Due to these benefits, cayenne has been shown to reduce indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain (9).
5. Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
Chia seeds and flax seeds are two amazing sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory (10). By consuming them on a consistent basis, you may be able to soothe any inflammation in your gut and allow your desired cleansing to take place.
Just like fiber, these seeds can also keep your digestion moving along, since they expand in water. Their extra volume can help you overcome constipation.
Both chia seeds and flax seeds make great additions to your morning smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal. They’re also a tasty topping on salads. You can even create a delicious chia pudding as a meal in itself.
6. Psyllium Husk
Chia seeds and flax seeds aren’t the only seeds you can use to cleanse your gut. A lesser-known seed that offers similar benefits is psyllium husk. This seed expands in the liquid in your digestive system, providing valuable bulk that will sweep out your gut as it moves through your digestive tract.
This fibrous seed is so good at cleansing the colon that it's considered a laxative (11). As a result, it may help reduce:
- Bowel movement irregularity
You can consume psyllium husk in a powder, capsule, or liquid form. It’s also used as flour in certain low-carb bread.
Note: If you decide to try this powerful seed, start out slow. It can be very potent, so you want to give your body plenty of time to adjust to it.
Psyllium husk is just one of the many gut cleansing foods that fall under the umbrella of “prebiotics.” Prebiotics include a variety of indigestible fibers that feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut.
By helping this friendly gut bacteria thrive, prebiotics ensure that your digestive system works smoothly.
Some popular veggies that contain prebiotics include:
- Sweet potatoes
8. Foods That Increase Butyrate in the Gut
Prebiotics can also aid in your body’s production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that’s crucial to your gut health. Butyrate keeps the cells of your gastrointestinal lining strong. As a result, it can improve the blood flow in your digestive system. Butyrate may also help prevent inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, and colon cancer (12).
You can help your body produce the butyrate it needs by consuming:
- Wheat bran
You can also get butyrate from butyrate supplements.
Your gut is home to over 500 million different species of bacteria (13). If you want to cleanse your gut, it’s important to cultivate an abundance of good bacteria. Probiotics help you do just that.
Probiotics contain the friendly gut bacteria that you need to function properly. By consuming probiotics daily, you can improve your gut’s microbiota composition. There are several fermented food options that naturally contain probiotics, including:
If you don’t cook with these types of foods very often, you can also take a probiotic supplement.
Water is one of the most cleansing substances on the planet. It can support your gut cleanse by keeping your digestive tract hydrated. In contrast, if you get dehydrated, you’ll be much more prone to constipation or any other digestive issue.
As a result, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
According to the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, most people should drink between 11 and 15 cups of water a day (14). However, your gender, activity level, and environment all play a role in how much water you need to stay adequately hydrated.
For a guide detailing all of the worst foods for gut health, follow the link provided!
Cleanse Your Gut with Cymbiotika
As you can see, cleansing your gut is a simple process. You just have to nourish your body with hydrating, fiber-rich foods.
If you want a healthy gut, Cymbiotika's gut health supplements can help. Our delicious ReGenesis probiotic formula contains Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. This beneficial bacteria is one of the most well-researched probiotics on the market. It may offer you relief from IBS symptoms, like bloating, stomach pain, and irregular bowel movements.
At Cymbiotika, all of our exceptional products are organic, vegan, and made from the highest quality ingredients. By choosing Cymbiotika, you’ll be giving your body the very best.
1. NCBI. Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/
2. Mayo Clinic. Digestion: How long does it take? https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340
3. USDA. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables. https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2013/dark-green-leafy-vegetables/
4. NCBI. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/
5. NCBI. Closer to clarity on the effect of lipid consumption on fat-soluble vitamin and carotenoid absorption: do we need to close in further? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611788/
6. NCBI. Prevention and Treatment of Flatulence From a Traditional Persian Medicine Perspective. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893422/
7. NIH. The Effect of Capsaicin on Salivary Gland Dysfunction. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27347918/
8. NIH. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 activation enhances gut glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion and improves glucose homeostasis.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22664955/
9. NIH. Effect of red pepper on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: preliminary study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21573941/
10. NCBI. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257651/
11. Healthline. The Health Benefits of Psyllium. https://www.healthline.com/health/psyllium-health-benefits
12. NCBI. Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070119/
13. NCBI. The Microbes of the Intestine: An Introduction to Their Metabolic and Signaling Capabilities. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4411945/
14. U.S. Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. https://www.nap.edu/webcast/webcast_detail.php?webcast_id=261