Why is cleaning up your bowel important? Your intestines play a significant role in overall health. Along with your lungs, skin, and kidneys, your bowels eliminate bodily toxins. At the same time, once the food you eat reaches your intestines, villi (small, fingerlike projections on intestinal walls) absorb nutrients and deliver them to the rest of your body.

Gut flora is important, too. Your intestines contain more than 100 trillion bacteria and microorganisms. The friendly bacteria in your gut stimulate blood antibodies, allow your body to deal with toxins and allergens, produce vital nutrients, protect you from harmful bacteria and parasites, aid in digestion, and fight foreign invaders that could lead to infection.

With all of that on its plate, plenty can go wrong in your bowel if you don’t look out for its health. When your bowel gets gunked up with toxins and goo, it is unable to foster efficient elimination. The result is toxic buildup that affects your health and beauty on all levels. If the villi also become clogged, it can lead to poor or absent nutrient absorption, resulting in lack of energy and malnutrition, as well as skin issues like dull skin. In the absence of healthy gut flora, parasites and “bad” bacteria can flourish, leading to gas, bloating, and infection and skin issues like acne. Clearly, for all of these reasons, a healthy colon is necessary.

Signs It’s Time to Clean it Out

So how do you know when it is time to clean your bowels? Your body will show numerous signs of toxic overload, including:

  • Lack of energy
  • Allergies
  • Poor immune function
  • Skin breakouts
  • Brain fog
  • Limp, lifeless hair
  • Dull skin
  • Weak fingernails
  • Chronic congestion
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or both
  • Emotional changes
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Headaches

These are just a few of the hundreds of symptoms that can manifest if you aren’t maintaining a healthy bowel. Fortunately, it’s well within your abilities to completely reverse these symptoms by taking charge of your bowel health.

Steps to a Healthy Bowel

A healthy bowel = a healthy you! To generate vibrant, beautiful health, you need to pay attention to your bowel health on multiple levels.

  1. Clean out the sludge.
  2. Build beneficial gut flora.
  3. Support ongoing bowel health.

Step 1: Clean out the sludge.

There’s a good chance your bowel is full of sludge. What puts it there?

  • Highly processed foods
  • Gluten grains including wheat, rye, and barley
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Large amounts of animal protein
  • Medications
  • Caffeine
  • Improper food pairing
  • Dairy
  • Acidic foods
  • Pesticides from inorganic foods

You can begin to clean out the sludge by changing the way you eat. Removing processed foods, sugar, chemicals and pesticides, gluten grains, dairy, and many of the foods listed above will begin the process of cleansing. As you transition to a diet containing organic, raw fruits and vegetables packed with plant enzymes and follow the diet principles outlined in The Beauty Detox Solution, you will begin removing years of the toxic sludge that fills up your bowels. Some extremely detoxifying foods you can include in your diet:

Taking magnesium oxide supplements also promotes cleansing. Magnesium has a natural laxative effect on the body. It also breaks down old sludge and toxic waste, allowing you to safely eliminate it. At the same time, the oxygen in the magnesium oxide oxygenates and energizes the body.

I also recommend using gravity-style colonics to continue the process of cleansing and remove year’s worth of sludge that has built up in your intestines. These gentle colonics, which should be done by a professional, generally cost between $50 and $120.

Step 2: Build Beneficial Gut Flora

The best way to replace harmful bacteria in your gut is by crowding it out with the good stuff. Here are some terrific ways to build good intestinal bacteria.

  1. Take a probiotic supplement. I especially think taking SBO probiotics is important for assisting your gut to become more balanced.
  2. Eat Probiotic and Enzyme salad regularly. It is rich in probiotics and minerals and supports intestinal health.
  3. Include raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in your diet. It promotes healthy bacterial growth and supports elimination.

Step 3: Support Ongoing Bowel Health

Once you have begun the process of cleansing and building good flora, your ongoing health habits will determine how well you maintain what you have gained. Continuing to eat a primarily plant-based diet, taking probiotics, and eating the probiotic and enzyme salad are steps you must continue to take in order to maintain bowel health. The order in which you eat your foods will also support a healthy colon. Some general rules include:

  1. Eat fruits on an empty stomach.
  2. Drink a Glowing Green Smoothie throughout the morning for breakfast.
  3. Avoid drinking significant quantities of liquids within 30 minutes of eating a meal, or for at least 45 minutes afterward.
  4. If you eat animal proteins, eat them once a day. Dinner is the best time in our modern society, so you don’t get slowed down in the middle of the day.
  5. Don’t graze constantly. Instead, eat meals when you are hungry and allow time for full digestion before eating something else. Keep snacking to a minimum.

Stick with it!

Sometimes, people notice symptoms associated with cleansing as the toxins make their way out of your body. Many people quit because of these symptoms, but they generally only last a week or two. Many others never experience any symptoms at all.

Some symptoms you may notice when you cleanse include:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throats
  • Aches and pains
  • Skin rashes or acne
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog or light-headedness
  • Boating
  • Fatigue

These symptoms tell you your body is cleaning itself out. Ride them out, and within a few weeks, you will feel better than you ever have before!

Remember that detoxing is an ongoing process, and you need to keep up with these modalities on an ongoing basis, to keep your healthiest and most beautiful.

New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist