Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Jared McAllister
Digestive issues are an all too common occurrence these days, in large part due to the unhealthy food choices we make. Constipation, irregularity, painful bowel movements, gas, bloating, and other problems are just a few of the symptoms of an unhealthy colon and digestive system.
Under these conditions, maintaining your general health can be a difficult task. Because the colon absorbs the nutrition from your food in order to nourish the body, any interference with the health and cleanliness of your colon can negatively impact your overall health.
Ensuring that your colon stays clean and healthy is one of the best things you can do for your body, and one of the best ways to do that is by observing a healthy diet. Fortunately, there are several colon cleansing foods that encourage the health and detoxification of the digestive tract naturally.
Here are ten of the best foods for a clean and healthy colon.
Best Foods to Naturally Cleanse and Detox the Colon
Consuming the right types of foods can help push waste through the colon and right out of your body. Particularly, foods high in fiber are great for your colon health.
Precisely how eating a high-fiber diet works is not fully understood. Although fiber is not digested, some of it ferments in your colon, and this fermentation may play a role in its positive health benefits.
So if you’re looking to improve your health, or preparing for a more thorough colon cleanse, you might want to try incorporating the following foods into your daily diet:
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables in general are excellent colon cleansing foods because they’re a great source of fiber, are low-fat, low-calorie, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vegetables also contain prebiotics, which act as food for probiotics (gut-friendly bacteria).
Adding dark, leafy green vegetables to your diet (such as kale, chard, and spinach) is an especially good way to help cleanse the colon. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower are also great foods for cleansing the colon and general intestinal health.
To get the greatest benefit, it’s best to to eat most vegetables either raw or lightly steamed, but if you experience difficulty digesting raw vegetables, cooking them first can make it easier on your system. And be sure to eat your vegetables with some healthy fats, like olive oil, butter from grass-fed cows, or nut butters, since these increase the absorption of the nutrients.
2. Chia and Flax Seeds
Both flax seeds and chia seeds are excellent sources of omega-3’s, which are essential fats you can only get from foods. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can also help decrease inflammation in the gut.
Additionally, flax and chia seeds swell when they are exposed to water which helps flush the colon. They’re a great option for those who experience constipation and slow digestion.
You can add flax and chia seeds to your salads, smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Regardless of what form you consume them, apples and foods made with apples promote colon health and detox. Whether you eat the whole fruit, take apple juice, applesauce or even apple cider vinegar, this fruit is an excellent colon cleansing food.
The pectin contained in apples helps to eliminate toxins from the colon and strengthen the lining of the intestines. Additionally, apples are high in fiber which helps to free up your digestive tract from any obstructions.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber source and is good for your entire digestive system, including your colon. Oatmeal is especially helpful if you suffer from ulcerative colitis, which affects the colon directly, or Crohn’s disease, which may attack any part of your lower digestive tract.
Oatmeal and other high-fiber foods may prevent you from getting diseases of the colon, since eating bulky foods like oatmeal naturally keeps the colon clean.
Psyllium husk is a potent type of fiber made from the husks from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. Psyllium husk pulls water into your intestines to help soften and bulk the stool, making it easier to pass. It’s also believed to help prevent loose stools as well, by absorbing water and making your stool more solid.
When beginning to use psyllium husk, start slowly, as it can produce quite strong effects until your body becomes accustomed to it.
6. Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans are both big sources of fiber, starches, and antioxidants, making them exceptional colon cleansing foods. You can start adding your favorite beans or lentils to all kinds of dishes — from stir fries and salads to any other type of lunch or dinner dishes.
Eating an avocado each day is one of the best ways to boost your digestive health. Avocados are packed with soluble and insoluble fibers that encourage bowel movements and help to keep the colon clean.
Avocados have also been shown to help decrease the likelihood of developing colon cancer.
8. Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are the “gut-friendly” bacteria that your colon needs for proper function. By adding colon cleansing foods that are rich in probiotics to your diet, you’ll be going a long way to improving the overall health of your colon.
Some of the best sources of naturally-occurring probiotics come from fermented foods such as:
These foods will help to populate your digestive tract with the healthy bacteria your gut needs. For those who aren’t able to include fermented foods on a regular basis, you can also take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
A food commonly used for many digestive issues, eating garlic is an excellent method for cleansing the colon as well. Garlic has antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic compounds that help eliminate toxins, pathogens, and parasites from the colon.
Not only is garlic great for the colon, it also has amazing heart health benefits as well.
10. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne is excellent for breaking up mucus in the body and stimulating digestive function. It can also help relieve indigestion, and is considered a super-food when it comes to detoxing and cleansing the colon.
Add a little cayenne pepper to your dishes to give them a kick and enjoy the cleansing benefits as well.
Most of the colon cleansing foods we covered contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin D, and calcium, which are excellent for keeping your digestive system functioning properly and promoting regularity. That said, if you’re not accustomed to a diet high in fiber or calcium, adding a lot of these foods all at once may lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, constipation, or bloating.
If you’re considering increasing the number of colon cleansing foods to your diet, add them a little at a time instead of all at once.
For a more potent form of colon cleansing and detoxification, consider using a colon cleansing supplement. See our full list of the best colon cleanse pills and supplements for a look at what we found to be the top-performing products.