Busting Food Myths with Nicole Senior

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Myth: Colon cleansing promotes a healthy bowel.

Nicole Senior

Fact: While the idea of sticking a tube up your bottom and flushing your bowel with loads of warm water might make you squirm, alternative practitioners of colonic irrigation say it has a variety of benefits such as removing toxins, restoring healthy bowel function, and even reducing tiredness and depression. Despite it being a most unnatural act, you should know that colonic irrigation (or lavage) has a number of risks such as bowel perforation and infection, electrolyte imbalance and transfer of bugs that cause diarrhoea. The most serious risk, bowel perforation and infection, requires surgical repair and IV antibiotics. While good bowel function is essential for your inner glow, a healthy balanced diet with enough fibre and a bit of exercise does the job for you in a more natural and enjoyable way.

So, how do you eat enough fibre to stay healthy on the inside? Well, not by sprinkling bran on everything. Actually too much insoluble fibre (such as bran) can interfere with the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc, and without a simultaneous increase in fluid intake may plug things up. In general, it’s best to drink plenty of fluids and get fibre the way nature intended: in plant foods such as vegetables; wholegrains; legumes; fruits; nuts and seeds. And the bonus is these foods are heart-friendly and good for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes as well.

There’s no need to stick anything anywhere the sun don’t shine for a healthy bowel – let healthy food shine through for you!

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Dietitian Nicole Senior is author of Eat to Beat Cholesterol available online at: www.eattobeatcholesterol.com.au