Healthy Elimination – What it is And How to Get it

Most of us are aware that good health requires eating nutritious food. But did you know that allowing your body the time and conditions to eliminate yesterday’s waste is also part of the foundation for your good health?

As part of my initial intake for a new person visit, I always ask about their digestive system and how often they move their bowels.

I am always surprised when people are not aware that this should happen on a daily basis, often more than once.

An Overview of Digestion

Digestion is a complicated process with multiple steps, and several different organ systems are involved. If one system is not operating at its best, the entire process can be delayed and constipation can result.

I think it’s helpful to know the process, so you can develop the best possible habits for supporting your body and helping it do its work properly.

Eating. Digestion of your food starts as soon as it enters your mouth. Whatever we eat or drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients; chewing releases saliva which starts the breakdown of the food, so the nutrients can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. When your parents told you to eat slowly and chew thoroughly, they were right – both aid your body’s natural processes.

Absorption. The food travels through your esophagus and then enters your stomach. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes which serve to break the food down into particles that can be absorbed.

This liquid is then sent to the small intestine which is composed of three sections: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The food continues to break down in the duodenum, assisted by release of bile from the liver and secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas.

The food is moved through the intestines by contractions called peristalsis. It’s then moved into the jejunum and ileum, where approximately 90 percent of the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.

The food enters the large intestine, where symbiotic bacteria come into play, continuing the breakdown of waste, extracting remaining nutrients, and absorbing water.

Excretion. It’s at this point that feces from the large intestine exit the body through the anal canal.

Why Constiption is a Big Deal

Fecal material is what’s left over when your body has extracted all it can use. What’s left can become unhealthy, unwanted substances in the waste area of your body unless eliminated in the form of a bowel movement, at least once daily. There are several reasons your body may not be able to eliminate waste regularly:

  • You are eating too many processed foods which are lacking sufficient fiber to produce a good bowel movement.
  • You aren’t drinking enough of the right liquids – water and herbal teas. Coffee, sodas and alcohol don’t count.

When you don’t consume enough fiber and/or water, the muscles in the colon aren’t able to contract properly, causing the stool to move too slowly and lose more water. The stool then becomes dry and difficult to eliminate.

When fecal matter remains in the intestines longer than it should, some of the byproduct material is reabsorbed into your body. These materials are viewed as inflammatory antibodies, toxins, by your body, and can result in some of the following symptoms:

  • Bloating and an inability to lose weight
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hormonal imbalances and infertility

What is a Healthy Bowel Movement?

In order to be healthy, we need to eliminate waste from the day before on a daily basis. Ideally, this should happen soon after awakening and then maybe once or twice later in the day. If this is not your situation, there are several simple steps you can take to correct this problem and improve your health.

The End of Constipation

In order to be healthy, we need to eliminate waste from the day before on a daily basis. Ideally, this should happen soon after awakening and then maybe once or twice later in the day. If this is not your situation, there are several simple steps you can take to correct this problem and improve your health.

1. A Healing Smoothie

I love smoothies and think they are an excellent way to provide your body with the super nutrition it needs. When you wake, your stomach is empty, so when you drink a smoothie first thing in the morning, the nutrients in that smoothie are easily absorbed into your body.

Because it’s first thing in the morning, it’s important that the drink not have too high of a sugar content. My smoothie has a very low glycemic index and is packed with protein, phytonutrients, and fiber.

2. Add Fiber to Your Diet

I’ve had many people resolve their constipation by adding fiber to their diet.

However, not all fiber is created equal, and “adding fiber” does not mean using some of the over-the-counter products that come in a box or plastic container. Those products actually do the opposite of what they claim; when you put them into your intestines, they suck up all the water in your gut, increasing transit time and making your stool dry. It becomes difficult to expel the fecal material and can result in hemorrhoids.

The best fiber comes from your diet, and it’s actually quite easy to do this. All you need to do is start eating at least four servings of organic, fresh vegetables and no more than two pieces of fruit daily.

My Healthy Nutrition Guide

3. Hydrate Your Body

Liquid is necessary to make a good stool, and without it, your stools become hard and difficult to expel.

A good way to start your day is by drinking a large glass of warm water with the juice of a fresh organic lemon. (By the way, lemons should be left on the counter at room temperature and not refrigerated.) Fresh lemon juice in the morning stimulates your gut, provides nutrients and Vitamin C for your immune system, and helps keep your body in an alkaline state.

Throughout the day, if you can drink an additional five glasses of water or herbal tea, you will have provided your body with at least the minimum amount of liquid it requires. If you are exercising and sweating, or working outside in hot weather, this number should double.

4. Give Yourself Time to Go to The Bathroom

I know this may sound obvious, but I’ve seen how often people are so busy, they ignore their body’s signal that “it’s time to go to the bathroom” until it’s convenient for them to use the restroom. And by then, the fecal material has moved back up the intestine and become more difficult to eliminate.

Most of us would probably prefer not to think about the latter part of the digestive process, but when it goes wrong, it’s generally all we can think about! Your body’s process of consumption-absorption-elimination is natural and healthy, but it relies on us making good choices to support that process. Give your body what it needs to do its work and carry you on your journey to optimal health and wellness.

Your mind and body can heal naturally, may I show you how?
Yes, Carol
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