By Michael Donaldson, PhD
Excerpts from “Back to the Garden” magazine, March/April 2007.
Constipation is a major issue in America. More than 4 million Americans have frequent constipation and spend $725 million on laxative products each year. Constipation is more than just annoying. If your colon isn’t working right, toxins tend to get reabsorbed by the body. Three separate studies among Japanese, African Americans, and Caucasians show that people who suffer from constipation or use laxatives very often have at least a 200 percent increased risk of colon cancer.
Along with constipation, several other common health issues in the intestinal tract (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome) affect about 16 million people in America.
So many of us have unhealthy digestive tracts. What do we do to regain our health in this area? The good news is that whatever helps our intestinal tract also helps the rest of the body, so it is a win-win situation. There isn’t one treatment for the heart, another for the lungs, a third for the immune system, and so on. What is healthy for one part is healthy for the whole body. What damages one part hurts the whole body. Dr. Donaldson then lists some major components in a healthy person’s life – going beyond the basic cleanse. It is the diet that supports colon health day in and day out.
- Exercise – this stimulates peristalsis and helps with all areas of our health.
- Fruits & Vegetables – essential for fiber, softer stools, finding up cholesterol, detoxifying chemicals from the liver, vitamins & minerals providing essential nutrition for the cells.
- Vegetable Juices – helps any inflammation in the bowel, where the lining in the GI tract can be replaced naturally in 4 days.
- Meat – bad for you, avoid it.
- Water – keep urine a pale pink color which indicates that you have consumed enough liquid.
- Flax – good source of soluble and insoluble fiber plus essential fatty acids and other antioxidant properties.
- Omega 3 Fats – fights inflammation in the body.
- Vitamin D – lack of Vitamin D has been related to some cancers and heart disease.
- Probiotics – beneficial bacteria are our first line of defense, strengthening the immune system, also aiding in fighting inflammation.
- Body, Soul, Spirit – Freedom and healing is having a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
[Michael Donaldson, Ph.D. is Research Director of the Hallelujah Acres Foundation. His research studies have been published in many medical and nutrition journals, including BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Nutrition & Food Science, and Nutrition Journal.]