The intestine is an important organ for our health. The health consequences of an unbalanced intestinal flora are often underestimated. This can lead to consequences ranging from gastrointestinal complaints to mental illness. Colon cleansing is the best way to bring the intestinal flora back into balance. In addition to intestinal cleansing, a balanced and healthy diet is particularly important, which is why it is advisable to draw up a nutrition plan.
This article will look at the benefits of colon cleansing and the nutrition that goes into it, helping you create the perfect meal plan for you. For this we will introduce you to some dishes that are perfect for a balanced diet during a colon cleanse.
the essentials in brief
- Intestinal cleansing is a course of treatment lasting several weeks, which is always useful when the intestinal flora is disturbed for various reasons and needs to be rebuilt or rebalanced.
- Intestinal rehabilitation is carried out in stages through intestinal cleansing, the destruction of harmful substances, the supply of probiotics and a balanced diet.
- Since an unhealthy diet can further irritate the intestinal flora, a healthy and conscious diet is important. A well-structured and well thought-out nutrition plan is of great advantage.
Definition: What is intestinal rehabilitation?
Intestinal complaints can often actually be traced back to a disturbed intestinal flora. Approximately 10 trillion intestinal bacteria live in our body, which together form the intestinal flora. This has various important functions for the body, including supporting digestion or being responsible for the immune system.
If the intestinal flora is disturbed, various symptoms such as gastrointestinal complaints and other symptoms can occur. The aim of intestinal cleansing is therefore to rebuild this disturbed intestinal flora and to destroy harmful intestinal bacteria and reduce inflammatory processes. This is carried out in stages.
Intestinal rehabilitation can be carried out at the doctor's, but also at home with the help of home remedies. If you decide to carry out the intestinal cleansing yourself, it is best to seek advice from your doctor again.
Background: What you should know about intestinal cleansing
Before we get to the tips for your perfect nutrition plan, we want to enlighten you on the subject of "intestinal rehabilitation" and offer you background knowledge with the help of frequently asked questions.
Why do you need intestinal cleansing and when does it make sense?
Even if intestinal bacteria can be associated with something negative at first, they are actually very essential for our intestines and also for our health. They fulfill important functions in the body, such as forming vitamins, strengthening the immune system, supporting digestion and also breaking down pollutants.
If your intestinal flora is disturbed, the functions just mentioned can be restricted, which can result in unwanted symptoms. It is then advisable to carry out an intestinal cleansing in order to rebuild the disturbed intestinal flora. This is basically a multi-week cure that is carried out in stages.
As soon as the intestinal flora is disturbed, intestinal cleansing can be helpful in bringing it back into balance (Image source: silviarita / Pixabay)
Intestinal cleansing is always recommended when symptoms such as gastrointestinal complaints, irritable bowel syndrome, fungal infections or lack of drive appear and the intestinal flora needs to be brought back into balance.
If you are not sure whether your intestinal flora is really disturbed, you can always give your family doctor a stool sample for examination. This can be used to determine whether intestinal cleansing is really necessary.
How do you do a colon cleanse?
You can either carry out an intestinal cleansing under the guidance of a doctor or naturopath, or simply do it comfortably at home. Nevertheless, we recommend that you inform yourself extensively about intestinal cleansing and, if necessary, also seek advice from a doctor. Colon cleansing can consist of three steps:
- Step 1 Colon cleansing , whereby the stomach is emptied first.
- Step 2 Destruction of harmful substances
- Step 3 Addition of probiotics to rebuild the intestinal flora
- Step 4 Balanced diet
What are the best ways to cleanse the colon?
As a rule, you can have an enema performed by the doctor to cleanse the intestines, during which the intestines are emptied. Alternatively, there are also proven home remedies that you can use for successful colon cleansing:
|healing clay||Pollutants are excreted, whereby the intestine is "detoxified". The digestive system is cleaned and the immune system strengthened.|
|psyllium||It is a common treatment for constipation. They catch water in the intestines, causing the psyllium to swell and increase its volume. This stimulates intestinal activity and the intestinal contents are transported naturally. They also support the growth of bacteria that are beneficial to colon health.(1)|
|linseed||Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, among other things. Primarily, flaxseed may help reduce symptoms of constipation, but it may also be beneficial in reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.(2)|
|Natural yoghurt||Normally you could take probiotics in the form of capsules, but these are also found in regular plain yoghurts. These contain lactic acid bacteria, which have a probiotic effect and are especially good for our stomach.(3)|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Are antimicrobial, which means they can kill harmful bacteria that pollute the gut. This relieves digestive problems (bloating, constipation).(4)|
What shouldn't you eat during a colon cleanse?
In order to guarantee successful intestinal rehabilitation, it is important not to consume any products that can additionally irritate the intestines and bring the intestinal flora back into imbalance.
During this time, you should avoid the following products in particular:
- Greasy foods (fast food should be avoided completely!)
- Meat products such as beef
- Raw fruits or vegetables
- Carbonated Beverages
- Industrial edible oils
- Avoid sugar and sweets
How long does a colon cleanse take?
No concrete information can be given about the duration of an intestinal cleansing. The duration always depends on the extent to which the intestinal flora is damaged.
For example, if you have severe gastrointestinal complaints, you should ideally plan more time for the intestinal cleansing.
If you have little to no discomfort and are doing the process for prophylactic reasons, a few weeks will suffice.
Colon cleansing can take at least four weeks, but it can also take several months.
What are the causes of a disturbed intestinal flora?
There can be various causes for a disturbed intestinal flora, which we have summarized in the following table:
|Taking medication, especially antibiotics||Should ensure that the "bad" bacteria are killed, but since they cannot differentiate, bacteria beneficial to the intestine are also killed.(5)|
|Unhealthy diet||An unhealthy and unbalanced diet can damage the intestinal lining, causing harmful bacteria to multiply|
|stress||The "good" bacteria suffer a decline and the "bad" ones proliferate, throwing the gut flora out of balance. Digestion becomes more difficult and symptoms such as diarrhea or flatulence occur.(6)|
|intolerances||Can lead to damage or inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, which promote important processes for our health.(7)|
What must be considered after the intestinal cleansing?
After intestinal cleansing, you should continue to eat a balanced diet. It is best to try to limit your meat consumption (if you have it) to about two days a week and not to eat too much fatty food.
Try to avoid ready meals as much as possible and prefer to cook something fresh. Eat a yoghurt with probiotics every now and then or drink kefir.
If you suspect an intolerance to certain products, it is best to have them examined, as taking these products will mess up your intestinal flora in the long run.
Why do you need a meal plan?
When it comes to intestinal cleansing, it is always important to eat a balanced and healthy diet and not to eat any food that can unnecessarily irritate the intestines.
If you used to eat a lot of greasy dishes, a change in diet is recommended.
A meal plan can help you bring some structure to your eating process and also motivate you to be mindful of your diet over time. Always pay attention to your intolerances. For example, you will often read that oatmeal is very healthy. However, if you have a gluten intolerance, always buy the gluten-free version. Otherwise, you will only get in the way of the process of a proper colon cleansing.
So create a multi-week nutrition plan and also document how you tolerated the food so that you can adjust your nutrition plan if necessary.
Nutrition plan for intestinal cleansing: The right diet during intestinal cleansing
During the intestinal cleansing, it is important that you pay attention to your diet at the same time. Because a change in diet is always accompanied by a cleansing of the intestines! Ideally, you need a well-structured nutrition plan for this.
Since every person reacts differently to certain products or foods, there is no such thing as a nutrition plan that is perfect for everyone. In the following we will introduce you to different dishes that you can eat in the morning, at noon and in the evening and from which you can ideally put together your individual nutrition plan.
nutrition for breakfast
Porridge : Porridge or rather porridge is super healthy and valuable for our diet. Oats provide relatively good quality protein and a significant amount of minerals and vitamins. (8th)
Porridge leads to an improvement in the functions of the digestive system.
You can easily prepare porridge. To do this, simply add 50g of oatmeal to a pot filled with 200ml of milk or water. When it boils, reduce the heat to minimum for 1-2 minutes and then turn off the stove. Put a lid over it and let it stand for a few minutes - done.
The great thing about porridge: You can combine it in very different ways. Blueberries, bananas, apples, strawberries, you can prepare your porridge as you like. Nuts also give the whole thing an extra touch and are also super healthy.
You can combine your porridge with different fruits. This breakfast is not only high in fiber, but also offers you a lot of vitamins. (Image source: Bubi The Bear / Pixabay)
Alternatively, you can also use quinoa porridge or even turmeric porridge. There are a lot of alternatives to the conventional porridge.
If you do not tolerate milk very well, it is best to always prepare your porridge with water.
Yoghurt bowl: If you decide to have yoghurt for breakfast, it is best to switch to yoghurts with probiotics, which are usually contained in natural yoghurts. These can be very health-promoting and are especially healthy for the intestines.
For a yoghurt bowl you simply have to fill your bowl with approx. 200-250g yoghurt. As with porridge, you have the opportunity to get very creative here. You can combine it with fruits of your choice, but also with oatmeal, almonds or coconut chips.
Muesli : The healthy oat flakes can also be used again in muesli. Alternatively, you can also use other cereal flakes.
Combine your muesli with nuts, sunflower seeds and dried or fresh fruit. You can then use yoghurt, milk or alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk with your muesli.
Smoothies : Smoothies can offer you a pleasant freshness in the morning, but also a lot of vitamins. Avocado smoothies, for example, are very healthy and will definitely fill you up in the morning.
diet for lunch
Couscous : Since you should pay attention to a low-fat diet, especially during the intestinal cleansing, couscous is perfect for this. It also contains a lot of fiber, as well as vitamins and healthy minerals.
For a single portion you need approx. 125g of couscous and twice the amount of lightly salted water (alternatively vegetable broth). Once the water is boiling, add the couscous and let it soak for 5 minutes.
Vegetables such as zucchini, peppers and cherry tomatoes, which you can mix with your couscous, go well with couscous. Sheep's cheese also offers a pleasant taste.
Of course there is a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared with couscous. Feel free to look for recipes that suit you or try something yourself.
Vegetable spaghetti: Vegetable spaghetti without spaghetti? Sounds weird at first, but it's super tasty and healthy. Vegetables are prepared in the form of spaghetti, mostly zucchini are used for this.
Stir-fried vegetables : Stir-fried vegetables bring you minerals, fiber and plenty of vitamins.
Vegetable pans are therefore not only super healthy, but also very tasty. There are plenty of good recipes for a good stir-fry. You can simply mix your favorite vegetables together, fry them and, if you like, combine them with potatoes, pasta or rice.
Quinoa Salad : Quinoa contains many nutrients. Especially for those who have a gluten intolerance, quinoa is perfect because it is gluten-free.
Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before preparing it. Then you boil the quinoa in lightly salted water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then turn off the stove and let it swell for about 10-12 minutes. As an alternative to water, you can also prepare them with vegetable broth.
Depending on your wishes, you can now add different vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchini or spring onions. Finally, you season them with spices and olive oil - done.
diet for dinner
While you should eat enough food in the evening, make sure you eat lighter foods in the evening and not necessarily foods you would eat for lunch.
In the evening, the intestines should not be stressed too much, as this can affect a good night's sleep.
Soups : Soups are a light meal for your gastrointestinal tract, but they can also fill you up enough for the evening. We recommend the following soups for dinner:
- vegetable soup
- pumpkin soup
- carrot soup
- lentil soup
Vegetable or fruit salad : Prepare a vegetable or fruit salad in the evening. These provide you with valuable substances such as vitamins, fiber and minerals. So it's very healthy, fills you up, but isn't too heavy on your stomach in the evening. (9.10)
Whole Wheat Sandwich : Whole wheat bread is a pleasant alternative to white bread. Simply combine it with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce leaves and you have a delicious snack for the evening. Alternatively, you can also put avocado on your sandwich.
A healthy and balanced diet in the process of intestinal rehabilitation should never be underestimated. An unbalanced diet brings the intestinal flora into imbalance and prevents a successful rehabilitation of the intestine. After all, a disturbed intestinal flora can also result from an unhealthy diet.
However, you should not follow a plan provided by someone, but create your own nutrition plan with the help of inspiration.
The diet should be rich in vitamins and also contain enough minerals and fiber. If you consider all of these factors, your colon cleansing will definitely be successful.
- Jalanka J, Major G, Murray K, et al. The Effect of Psyllium Husk on Intestinal Microbiota in Constipated Patients and Healthy Controls. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(2):433. Published 2019 Jan 20.
- Parikh M, Maddaford TG, Austria JA, Aliani M, Netticadan T, Pierce GN. Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. nutrients. 2019;11(5):1171. Published 2019 May
- Pace F, Pace M, Quartarone G. Probiotics in digestive diseases: focus on Lactobacillus GG. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol.
- Gopal J, Anthonydhason V, Muthu M, et al. Authenticating apple cider vinegar's home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect. Nat Prod Res. 2019;33(6):906-910.
- Nitzan O, Elias M, Peretz A, Saliba W. Role of antibiotics for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2016;22(3):1078-1087.
- Qin HY, Cheng CW, Tang XD, Bian ZX. Impact of psychological stress on irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(39):14126-14131.
- Schiller LR. Evaluation of chronic diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea in adults in the era of precision medicine. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018;113(5):660-669.
- What RW. Can dietary oats promote health?. Br J Biomed Sci. 1994;51(3):260-270.
- Henare SJ, Rutherfurd SM. Digestion of kiwifruit fiber. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2013;68:187-203. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-394294-4.00010-9
- Otles S, Ozgoz S. Health effects of dietary fiber. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2014;13(2):191-202.