If there’s one area of your body that should be less like the tortoise and more like the hare, it’s your gut.
When you don’t poop frequently enough, it isn’t just uncomfortable – it actually exposes you to risks of diseases like colorectal cancer and even Parkinson’s.
A new study shows how the time it takes for you to expel the food you’ve eaten (something we doctors call your “transit time”) can determine your overall health – and, as it turns out, you’ll want to evacuate your waste pretty quickly to avoid some serious complications.
Now, we’ve known for a while that the quicker the transit time, the less likely you are to develop digestive tract cancers, haemorrhoids, and even varicose veins.
But in this latest study, researchers from Denmark have found that taking a longer amount of time for food to pass through the colon gives toxins the opportunity to do damage in your digestive tract – particularly to the cells in the lining of the colon.
And the foods that tend to linger in there the most? Sugars and starches
If you shorten that time – and flush everything out of your system quickly by eating lots of clean, organic fruits and vegetables – those cells can actually RENEW THEMSELVES. So then, even if some toxins do get in there, your intestinal walls are protected by a nice layer of mucous.
As I’ve said more times than I can count, your health begins and ends in your gut. A healthy balance of gut flora can not only boost your immunity… and fight cancer… but it can also improve your mood.
A good indication of your transit time is what you poop actually looks and feels like. If it comes out with some difficulty and is firm or hard, it’s probably staying in there too long and getting compacted. It should come out relatively easily and not drop into the bowl like a brick.
You can actually measure your own transit time with a simple test you can take at home. Right after you go “number two”, take 1.5 to 3 g of activated charcoal tablets with a large glass of water (which you should be drinking plenty of anyway). As you subsequently go to the bathroom, pay attention to what the stool looks like and look for the appearance of the black, crumbly tablets.
The time it takes between when you swallow the tablets and when you see them in the toilet is your transit time. Ideally, it should be in the 12- to 18-hour range.
If it takes longer than 18 hours for the charcoal to come out, add some roughage to your diet – avocado, almonds, squash, and plenty of other veggies and nuts – and test again.
If your poop is taking its own sweet time in there, you might have something more serious going on – so get it checked out by a doctor.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Gut health and activity benefits from food’s short stay in the gut, nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Gut-health-and-activity-benefits-from-food-s-short-stay-in-the-gut
Bowel transit time, webmd.com/digestive-disorders/bowel-transit-time