By Azara – Bella Naija Beauty & Wellness Editor
For those of us that are health conscious, as well as those that are working towards becoming more health conscious, one of the easiest ways to monitor one’s progress is by checking your stool. Even though it might sound crass to say that, one’s stool is the first indicator of problems that the internal organs might be experiencing. The first step in monitoring your health is to check your colon. The colon (large intestine) is the organ responsible for the absorption of nutrients from food to be used by the body and it also handles both the storage and elimination of waste from the body.
To better understand the work of the Colon let us take a look at how food travels. When you take a bite of food, you begin the first phase of DIGESTION. When we chew, we break down the food into smaller particles and with the help of saliva, the food is ready to be absorbed by the body. Once the food is swallowed, the throat; through its squeezing and rippling action, keeps the food moving along the routes of digestion. After that, the digestive juices in one’s stomach breaks down the food farther into smaller pieces; when this is done, food leaves the stomach and enters into the small intestines. The final part of digestions involves the Colon and this is when food is ready to be eliminated. When the food reaches this stage, it no longer resembles it’s original form, because the Colon has extrapolated nutrients and water from it, and is now working towards excreting this waste from the Body. By now, you understand that this is the regular exercise of your digestive system; meaning that the excretion of food should occur at least once a day. But for colons that are not functioning properly, there is usually little “waste removal” activities, and this problem tends be felt in other associated organs. This is the reason why many illnesses are usually caused by an unhealthy colon, even though they can be prevented by maintaining a healthy colon and bowel movement.
So what does it mean to have a healthy or unhealthy colon, Healthy colons are usually characterized by a 10 second bowel movement after a meal. The Stool itself is usually
large, long, light brown in color with an inoffensive odor, as well as a limited use of toilet paper. Now does this sound like your toilet movement? The truth is that very few people experience this natural colonic movement, and this is because of the little attention we pay to our colon and our health.
If your diet consists of foods that are fatty fried, processed, overcooked food with chemicals and/or additives, sugar, caffeine, and too much red meat, chances are that you can probably go a week without excreting waste, which is quite dangerous. Unnatural foods tend to create a lot of work for the body, because they have little nutrients so the body works hard to decompose them, but receive nothing in return. Foods that are unnatural, build up waste in the body that are stored in the colon, this often results to the loss of energy that occurs after we eat Junk food. In order to better equip our bodies to perform in its optimum level, it is important that we eat foods that are helpful towards effective absorption and elimination; this means eating foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables.
Days, months and years of ineffective elimination, often result in the buildup of waste in the colon which results in high levels of TOXICITY in the body. This toxic poison enters the bloodstream (via the colon) and cause illnesses, weakness and fatigue. A more important reason why the Health of your Colon is vital to a healthy body is because of the fact that the number one cause of cancer among men and women is Colon/Rectal cancer.
Bowel problems usually caused by nutritional deficiency, can be described by difficult movements when one is trying to eliminate waste or by releasing stools that are small and narrow, short or hard, and contain traces of half-digested food, or blood.
In order to take care of one’s internal organs, it is important to work towards keeping the Bowel movement regular; and this can be done with the help of a proper diet and an increase in water; because water helps push the movement of food down the digestive track. A diet full of dietary fiber can achieve that goal of “regularizing” the bowel movement, such diets include: grains and whole grain products, bran, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Also be sure to drink plenty of water as well as other low-calorie, non-caffeinated beverages like herbal tea, and it is also evident that Prune juice helps in boosting one’s bowel movement. However, for those whose colon has suffered from irregular bowel movements, it is important to know that a healthy diet will not eradicate years of colon abuse, and it is best to see a doctor. So next time you think about taking a bite of chocolate cake or candy, think about what your body goes through to break it down.