Colon cleanses should not be confused with colonics …. The ones I’m reviewing are psyllium husk-based colon cleansing products, typically taken over the course of 10 – 30 days.
The promise: Because of the Western diet, with all the pre-processed, overly refined, fiber-lacking foods, the guts of most Americans are a mess. Food does not get digested properly and waste sits in the colon for way too long. Not to get too graphic, but this old, undigested matter can turn toxic and poisonous, and it becomes difficult for the body to eliminate.
Enter psyllium husk, a bulking fiber made from the husks of the seed of the Plantago ovate plant. When psyllium husk comes in contact with the water in your gut, it expands, forming a gelatin-like mass. This makes the stool in your intestinal tract softer and better able to transport waste. According to believers, because a colon cleanse helps rid the body of unwanted waste, it leads to better energy, a clearer mind, more radiant skin, and a weight-loss jumpstart.
The basics: You’ll drink a psyllium husk-based colon-cleansing product, anywhere from 1 – 3 times a day, while eating a healthy, whole-foods diet. That means plenty of vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats along with whole grains and fruits. You’ll also need to drink 8 – 12 glasses of water to make sure the psyllium husk moves through the intestines easily and doesn’t create gas or bloating.
Does it work? Whether or not you actually need a colon cleanse is up for debate. If you’re eating properly, your colon should be doing the work it needs on its own. That being said, Americans are simply not getting enough fiber. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams per day. The average American? Gets about 15 grams per day. Psyllium husk can help you reach your fiber goal. Also, since psyllium bulks up in the digestive tract, it can give you a feeling of being full, helping you to eat less.
Steve Sisskind, M.D.
Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.
As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.
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