How long Will This Take?
Getting food from our mouths to our stomach, digesting it and then emptying our colon is something we humans spend a lot of time doing. When we suffer from constipation that whole process can seem like an eternity. Have you ever wondered how long the whole process takes?
Since we eat different foods at different times and come in all shapes and sizes, the average transit times (like commuting to and from work!) are only estimates scientists have reached, when studying digestion.
The estimates are that it takes about 21/2 to 3 hours for the stomach to be at least 50% emptied, with total emptying times about 4-5 hours. Then there is the small intestine transit time of another 2-3 hours, with colon transit times between 30 and 40 minutes.
It would be impossible to get exact transit times because food doesnât move through the digestive process all together. Foods donât always get processed in the same order as they came in- some of the food from the same meal will be in the colon, while another portion remains in the stomach.
A meal is a mixture of several types of chemicals and materials. Itâs a miracle the body knows what to do with everything, but it does. Sometimes the choices we make will effect the transit time unpleasantly, and that can mean problems with constipation. One of the best foods to get the journey back on track is fruit. Enjoying at least two fruits a day can keep the transit police happy. (Is that the sound of happy peopleâs toiletâs flushing?)
Top Ten Fruits
Fruits are made by nature- a perfect food. They are easy to digest and absorb. Fruits are your colonâs friends. If you ever suffer from constipation, youâll want to reach for fresh fruit. Hereâs a look at the top ten fruits that help improve constipation.
Fruits offer many health benefits, including providing vitamins and nutrients, but this list have added benefits for sluggish bowels. Can you guess what these fruits pack a punch with? Did you answer fiber? Thought so!
These fruits are packed full of fiber. Letâs take dried figs. 5 figs will supply 237 calories, with 8.5 grams of fiber for every 100 of those calories. One cup of raspberries, at 60 calories will help get things moving with 8 grams of fiber.
Most of us have already been told how fiber is so good for us. Itâs great to know that you donât have to down bowl after bowl of bran to get rid of constipation. In fact, if you arenât used to a lot of fiber in the diet, it can make you feel bloated, gassy and more uncomfortable than being constipated did in the first place.
More Fruits to the Rescue
Donât worry if the fiber-rich fruits on the top ten lists donât appeal to you. Most fruits are naturals at gently relieving constipation. Hereâs a list of other fruits you might want to add to your diet:
The combination of fiber (which is usually provided by the skin, so donât peel that apple!) and sugars that are harder for the body to digest, makes fruits a good bet for clearing bouts of constipation. Since the body canât break down the sugar, it pushes it out. You might say that fruit are natureâs laxative. They also act as toners to the stomach and intestines.
Other Transit tips
Need some other suggestions to get traffic flowing again? First of all, if youâve suffered from constipation for a while and it doesnât seem to be getting better, it may be something more than just a nuisance. Itâs wise to have it checked out by your physician. Here are some other tips for relieving constipation:
- Itâs not only what you eat; itâs how you are eating. Be sure that you are not rushing to eat meals and eating at odd times. Make sure you chew your food. Digestion starts in the mouth. Saliva has enzymes that work chemically on your food before you even swallow. Each mouthful should be chewed at least 15 times.
- Stay away from foods that contain white flour and sugar.
- Drink lots of water- just not with your meals, as it dilutes gastric juices needed for digestion. A cup of hot water with some lemon can help with constipation.
Youâll find that making a conscious effort to add fruits to your diet will make a lasting difference in helping you avoid constipation.
The Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center
I want to know what is the difference between constipation and severe constipation, as far as definition. causes and symptoms. Thank you
Constipation is where you have to strain to get the stool out. Severe constipation is where you need to take medical or physical action to empty the bowel. Both have the same essential cause which is slowed transit time in the bowel leading to dehydrated, hardened stools. Here is the link to the bristol stool chart – with sufficient fluids and fibre a normal stool is a 3, 4 or 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale
Colon cancer starts with colon polyps. Polyps are growths in the inner lining of your colon walls. They are formed when the inner lining is irritated or attacked by fecal matter toxins. When you have polyps your risks of getting colon cancer increases dramatically.
To prevent getting colon cancer you need to prevent getting polyps.
If you have polyps then you need to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
Here are some ideas that you can use in preventing colon cancer whether you have or do not have polyps.
Polyps occur when your fecal matter is toxic and becomes stagnant. When your fecal matter stops moving in your colon, then toxic matter in the fecal matter comes in contact with your colon wall. It is this colon area that becomes irritated and over time weakens. As inflammation sets in and irritation continues, toxins are absorbed into the colon wall and a growth occurs. This growth will continue as long as you continue to have toxic fecal matter and constipation.
Here are two things that can help you from creating and irritating polyps.
First eliminate any form of constipation. You have constipation if you don’t have at least two bowel movements daily when you have three meals a day. Determine how long it takes for your food to pass through your body. A good rule of thumb is, it should take about 24 hours for food to travel from your mouth and out your anus.
After you eat breakfast in the morning, drink 6 – 8 oz of any juice with 2 oz of liquid chlorophyll. You can use 2 oz of red beet juice if you prefer. Then check when you start to see either green or red stools. This is your colon transit time. If it takes more than 24 hours then you need to reduce this time.
Preventing colon cancer requires that fecal matter move through your colon without remaining at one spot for too long.
The second thing you can do to prevent colon cancer is to change your fecal matter toxic level. Two things that make your fecal matter more toxic are undigested food and carcinogenic chemicals.
Since, most processed foods such as breads, packaged foods, cooked foods, processed meats, and pasteurized liquids lack digestive enzymes, your body is unable to digest all of the food that you eat. When undigested food reaches the colon, it is decomposed by bad bacteria and becomes highly toxic.
To correct this toxicity, start eating more raw foods such as fruits and vegetables, which are filled with enzymes. Try ten servings a day. It’s a lot isn’t it? But, that what we need to stop colon cancer or other colon irritations.
Next, read food labels and avoid those foods, as much as possible, which contain excessive preservative, coloring, dyes, fillers, and food stabilizers. There are hundreds of chemicals that are added to your food which help to keep the food from falling apart and decaying. Many of these chemicals are not digested in the small intestine and move into the colon where then make the fecal matter more toxic.
These are two steps that you can start applying for preventing colon cancer. If you have polyps, then these steps will help to keep them in check and reduce your risk of getting colon cancer.
Soluble fiber represents one half the team known commonly as fiber. Together with insoluble dietary fiber, it has many important functions. We’ll cover some of the benefits of soluble dietary fiber in this article, how it works in our body, the importance of good bowel bacteria in relation to it, and some surprising sources of insoluble fiber.
Fiber has been studied well enough in relation to disease prevention that the FDA has approved health claims about its’ benefits for heart disease prevention. Foods or products that naturally have 0.6g of soluble fiber per amount referenced qualify for this claim. This highlights how crucial soluble fiber is in relation to insoluble.
Other benefits of soluble fiber are that it may help lower blood cholesterol levels, assist those with non-insulin dependant diabetes, as well as people with inflammatory bowel disorders (such as colitis), or diarrhea, and constipation. Whilst it may seem contradictory that one thing can help with the opposite problems of constipation and diarrhea, soluble fiber does this by acting as a regulatory mechanism. It forms a gel in the body, including the colon, and when a person has diarrhea the gel adds bulk and slows the transit time. When a person has constipation, the more liquid nature of the gel makes the hardened stools softer, provided enough fluid is drunk.
Soluble fiber has an interesting characteristic in that it is fermented in the colon. This occurs through the activities of the beneficial bacteria that naturally exist there. Problems can potentially arise if the population of beneficial bacteria is depleted. These bacteria produce gas and short chain fatty acids from soluble fiber, and it is the short chain fatty acids that provide some of these considerable benefits. Fortunately, soluble fiber helps increase the population of good bacteria in the bowel.
The short chain fatty acids are the reason soluble fiber is helpful in stabilizing blood glucose levels. They also reduce levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, both implicated in heart disease. And they provide additional benefits by lowering the rate of cholesterol synthesis by the liver.
Most people do not consume enough dietary fiber – either soluble or insoluble. And whilst legumes, grains, fruit and vegetables are well known sources of fiber, scientists are turning up some surprising sources. Recent research revealed that a cup or coffee is a source of soluble fiber, despite previously being believed to have none. It contains 0.47 to 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per 100ml, so there are richer sources. However, the results are very interesting, especially when you consider that most people drink a cup with at least 200ml, or more likely in the range of 250ml, per drink. At 250 ml, that puts a cup of coffee in the range of 1.16 to 1.88 grams of soluble fiber. Depending on how much coffee you drink in a day, that does add up.
Instant coffee came out a winner as well, as it’s a greater source than filter or brewed coffee.
Soluble fiber is important for the maintenance of health, as well as being a credible, natural treatment for those troubled by some forms of diabetes, cholesterol, and bowel problems. Unfortunately, most healthy people don’t take enough fiber in their diet, which potentially increases their risk for illness later on. And whilst soluble fiber has many benefits, insoluble fiber is still a critical part of our diet as well. Fortunately, there are many known sources of fiber, and coffee can now be added to that list!