Coconut Oil for Constipation? 8 Natural Laxatives to Get You Going #2

Coconut Oil for Constipation? 8 Natural Laxatives to Get You Going #2

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Constipation, especially chronic constipation, is one of the most uncomfortable feelings out there. It’s bad enough having unexpected, acute constipation from a lousy meal; when this continues day after day, it’s much worse. I’ve been there (hooray for low-grade chronic digestive issues).
When dealing with constipation, how you eat and what you eat matters a lot. If you pick up junk food on a regular basis, you often eat boxed, processed meals, you consume too much sugar, or you don’t eat fruits and vegetables, you probably experience constipation pretty often. Overall, eating a plant-based, whole food diet, while making sure to include plenty of fiber and healthy fat, is your best bet for a tummy that doesn’t hate you.

Of course, despite our best efforts to eat a healthy diet, constipation may sometimes occur for various other reasons. In these cases, natural laxative foods can be very effective; as effective or more than over-the-counter laxatives. The following are eight to try next time your system is misbehaving:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a natural, nutrient-rich fat, and getting more into your diet can help to ease chronic constipation over time. This oil may help to soften your stool, thanks to its medium-chain fatty acids. Consuming these types of fatty acids may help to improve your digestion, and help your body get more nutrients from the foods you eat. The many benefits of coconut oil can translate to a healthier metabolism and digestive system.

Dried plums and prune juice

This is one remedy that I personally employ in times of severe blockages. When I was pregnant with my son, prune juice was the only thing that helped the horrible constipation that occurred in my third trimester. Eating prunes, also known as dried plums, may have even more benefits, because they contain more fiber. The age-old prune/constipation remedy may work due to several factors, including the presence of sorbitol and a high concentration of insoluble fiber. Plus, eating dried plums may help to prevent colon cancer.

Yacon

Yacon is a tuber that is native to Peru, and it’s another traditional remedy for constipation. A study performed in 2008 and published in the journal Digestion tested the effects of yacon syrup on the digestion of healthy volunteers. Based on their results, the study authors wrote: “Yacon markedly accelerates colonic transit in healthy individuals. Further studies are needed in constipated patients to confirm this preliminary data. Due to the low caloric content of yacon, the root could be a useful treatment in constipated diabetics or obese patients.”

Flax seeds

Flax seeds are rich in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a wonderful food for digestion and for overall health. They also contain mucilage, a type of fiber that bulks up your stool and helps food to move through your colon more quickly. Just remember to grind your seeds before you eat them. Try adding some to a smoothie.

Berries

Berries are great for digestive health for several reasons. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, the combination of which improves your bowel regularity over time. They also contain vitamin C, which makes food pass through your system more quickly. Try to get a variety for a wealth of antioxidants. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and mulberries all have their own unique health benefits.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another great food to make a staple in your diet if you frequently experience constipation. They are very gentle on the system, and they’re a great source of fiber, especially if you eat them with the skin. They also contain many other nutrients and antioxidants, including magnesium, which is important for constipation prevention. Try roasting some with the skins on and enjoy them with a bit of coconut oil, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan salt.

Probiotics

Eating probiotic foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, natural yogurt, kefir and certain types of pickles on a regular basis can help you to keep your bowels functioning smoothly. Probiotics help to improve the health of our microbiome, and a healthy microbiome equals healthy digestion, a stronger immune system and much more.

A 2008 study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy tested the effects of probiotics on individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). On their results, the authors wrote:

“Four of five studies of the effects of probiotics on colonic transit time revealed a benefit compared with placebo. As probiotics have shown benefit and possess a favorable adverse-effect profile, their use may represent an option for symptom relief in patients with IBS.”

All in all, eating a healthy, clean diet filled with fiber-rich and probiotic foods, getting plenty of exercise, drinking plenty of water and controlling your stress levels is a good way to keep yourself from getting constipated. When it does happen though, the foods on this list should have you feeling lighter in no time.


Contributor: Tanya Mead-The Alternative Daily

Just 2 Minutes of Walking After Eating Can Help Blood Sugar, Study Says

Just 2 Minutes of Walking After Eating Can Help Blood Sugar, Study Says

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
For centuries, people in the sunny Mediterranean would get up after long, leisurely meals and take a walk, often to the town square to see neighbors and socialize. Walking is so much a part of that lifestyle it is listed as a foundation of the über-healthy Mediterranean diet.
That may be one of the reasons studies have found the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and some cancers — all the while strengthening bones, improving brain health, warding off dementia and depression and helping with healthy weight loss.

Now you can add another reason to take a post-meal stroll — it may lower your blood sugar.

That excursion doesn’t need to take up a huge amount of your time either: Walking as little as two to five minutes after a meal can do the trick, according to a 2022 study in the journal Sports Medicine.

Standing after a meal can help, too, but not as much as putting one foot in front of the other, said study coauthor Aidan Buffey, a doctoral student in the physical education and sport sciences department at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

“Intermittent standing breaks throughout the day and after meals reduced glucose on average by 9.51% compared to prolonged sitting. However, intermittent light-intensity walking throughout the day saw a greater reduction of glucose by an average of 17.01% compared to prolonged sitting,” Buffey told CNN via email.

“This suggests that breaking prolonged sitting with standing and light-walking breaks throughout the day is beneficial for glucose levels,” he added.

Standing is good, but walking is better


The meta-analysis, published in February, analyzed seven studies comparing the impact of sitting, standing and walking on the body’s insulin and blood sugar levels. People in the studies were asked either to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of a full day.

“Between the seven reviewed studies, the total activity time throughout the observation was roughly 28 minutes with the standing and light walking breaks lasting between 2 to 5 minutes,” Buffey said. Standing was better than heading straight for the desk or the couch to sit when it came to blood sugar levels, but it didn’t help lower insulin in the bloodstream, the analysis found.

However, if people went for a short walk after eating, their blood sugar levels rose and fell more gradually, and their insulin levels were more stable than either standing or sitting, the study noted.

Keeping blood sugars from spiking is good for the body as large spikes and fast falls can raise the risk for diabetes and heart disease, experts say. Studies have shown blood sugar levels will spike within 60 to 90 minutes after eating, so it’s best to get moving soon after finishing a meal.

How does movement help? Muscles need glucose to function, so movement helps clear sugars from the bloodstream — that’s the reason why many runners rely on carbo-loading before a marathon or race, for example.

Want to get more out of your efforts than lower blood sugars? Step up your game to meet the minimum physical activity standards for Americans: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity a week.

“People who are physically active for about 150 minutes a week have a 33% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes.

Translated, that means if you get up and move for just 21.43 minutes each day of the week, you cut your risk of dying from anything by one-third.

That’s worth the effort, right?


Contributor: Sandee LaMotte, CNN Health

Why You Need to Stop Adding Salt and What You Can Do to Make Your Food Taste Good Instead

Why You Need to Stop Adding Salt and What You Can Do to Make Your Food Taste Good Instead

Claremont Colonic Newsletter

On second thought, maybe don’t pass the salt.

Adding salt to your meal at the table is associated with a lower life span and a higher risk for early death, according to a new study.

The study looked at more than 500,000 people in the UK Biobank who responded to a questionnaire between 2006 and 2010 about their salt habits and the frequency with which they added salt to their food. Before you start revisiting all your favorite recipes: Researchers were only looking at how much salt was added after the meals in question were cooked, according to findings published in the European Heart Journal in July.

Researchers followed up with participants about nine years later and found that the more salt people had added to their meals, the greater their chance of early death. However, those people consuming high levels of salt could lower their risk by eating more fruits and vegetables, the study said.

The American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day — but notes the “ideal limit” is 1,500 milligrams per day. Consuming too much salt can raise blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, the heart association said.

The UK National Health Service recommends that adults limit their sodium intake to about a teaspoon of salt a day.

There is a long track record of scientific research showing that a diet high in salt is risky, but this study adds a new level of caution against adding more to your plate, said lead study author Lu Qi, a professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

“More evidence, especially those from clinical trials, is needed before the public takes any action,” he said. “However, our findings are in line with the previous studies which consistently show that high sodium intakes are adversely related to various health outcomes such as hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.”

Going further to cut back

Even if you don’t add any salt to your own plate, you might be getting more sodium than you should be.

A 2020 meta-analysis of 133 clinically randomized trials on lowering salt intake found strong evidence that cutting back dietary sodium reduced blood pressure in those with existing hypertension — and even in those who were not yet at risk.

One of the main culprits of high levels of sodium in our diets?

Manufactured foods, which often use salt for flavor, texture, color and preservation. More than 70% of the sodium Americans eat comes from what has been added by the food industry to products later purchased in stores or restaurants, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Most of my patients do not add salt at the dinner table, but don’t realize that bread rolls, canned vegetables and chicken breasts are among the worst culprits (of high sodium) in the US,” said Dr. Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who researches sodium and hypertension.

Juraschek was not involved in either the Biobank study or 2020 meta-analysis.

But salt makes everything taste so good, you may be thinking.

There are strategies, however, for keeping a vibrant palate and creating enticing dishes with less salt, said Carly Knowles, a registered dietitian who is also a private chef, licensed doula and the author of “The Nutritionist’s Kitchen” cookbook.

Knowles recommends cooking at home — where you have more control over the salt shaker while making your meal — more often, reading the ingredients on your products, substituting in herb and spice blends without salt, and focusing your diet on minimally processed foods.


Contributor: Madeline Holcombe, CNN

The End of Quarantine? What People Should Know About the CDC’s New Covid-19 Guidelines

The End of Quarantine? What People Should Know About the CDC's New Covid-19 Guidelines

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced key changes to its nationwide Covid-19 guidelines. Among them was the end of required quarantine after someone is exposed to a close contact with the coronavirus. The CDC also revised isolation guidance for people infected with Covid-19.
With the required quarantine ending, what should people do if they’ve been exposed? How long should they isolate if they do get infected? What’s the rationale for making the changes? And are there exceptions—who should take precautions above and beyond the new recommendations?

To guide us through the changes, I spoke with CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is also author of “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.”

CNN: Has the CDC really ended quarantine? That seems like a major step.

Dr. Leana Wen: It has effectively ended quarantine for people exposed to Covid-19. I agree, this is a major change in recommendations.

The new guidance says that someone exposed to an individual with Covid-19 no longer needs to quarantine at home, away from others. They can go to work, attend school and be in other settings around people as long as they wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask — ideally an N95 or equivalent. People should mask for 10 days following their exposure. They should also test at least five days after the exposure. If it’s positive, they have Covid-19, and they need to go into isolation. If it’s negative, they have to continue masking for the 10-day duration.

CNN: Can you remind us of the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Wen: Quarantine applies to someone who has been in close contact with an individual infected with the coronavirus. Close contact, according to the CDC, means you’ve been within 6 feet of someone with Covid-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Earlier in the pandemic, the recommendations were that those exposed to Covid-19 had to quarantine themselves from others and not be in public. That’s how someone needing “quarantine” was defined — as someone who has not been diagnosed with Covid-19 but does have a significant exposure.

Now, someone with known exposure no longer needs to quarantine, but they do need to have a period of 10 days of masking.

On the other hand, someone should be in isolation if they have been diagnosed with Covid-19. Isolation is defined as being physically separate from others in order to prevent transmitting the virus during the infectious period.

CNN: Are there still some people who should take additional precautions, despite the guidelines eliminating quarantine?

Wen: Yes. The CDC says that people with exposure should take extra precautions when around people who are more likely to get very sick from Covid-19. What I take this to mean is that you should be additionally cautious if you are, say, visiting an elderly grandparent.

If your spouse has the virus right now and you and your kids don’t, you could still go to work and your children to school with a mask, but consider postponing the trip to see medically frail relatives until after the 10-day period. If you live at home with vulnerable individuals, keep your distance during the 10-day period after your exposure, and make sure everyone is masking indoors around one another.

CNN: What do people need to know now about isolation?

Wen: Here, the new CDC guidance is a bit complex.

The basic premise is that individuals diagnosed with Covid-19, whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, need to isolate for at least five days. These initial five days are the period where you are most likely to be contagious. The CDC emphasizes that you should try to stay home and separate from others if possible. Don’t travel, and don’t go to places where you can’t wear a mask, such a restaurant where you will be eating.

If you have no symptoms, or if you have symptoms and they are improving and you remain fever-free for at least 24 hours, you can end isolation after five days. For the next five days, you should still mask while in public places. So you can go to work, but keep masking at work, and make sure to mask while on the train or bus there.

There are some caveats here. First, the CDC guidance says that if you had moderate illness, defined as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if you required hospitalization, or are immunocompromised, you should isolate until day 10. This makes sense, because more serious illness or having a compromised immune system suggests you could have had a higher viral load that takes more time to clear.

Second, CDC once again emphasizes caution around people who are likely to get very ill from Covid-19. If you just had Covid-19, you should wait at least until after day 10 to visit medically frail family or friends. I would add here, too, that you should test negative by rapid antigen test prior to seeing vulnerable individuals indoors. This is not something the CDC recommends, but I think the negative test adds more reassurance to protect those at high risk.

Third, speaking of testing, the new guidance also says that you could end your 10 days of masking early if you take two rapid tests 48 hours apart. Let’s say that by day five, your rapid test is negative. You could take another test on day seven, and if it’s negative, no longer need to mask after that.

I think this is sensible, and actually wish the CDC would be even more explicit with its recommendation to clear isolation based on testing. There are some individuals who will still be testing positive on day 11. Here I am referring only to the home rapid antigen test, as the PCR test could remain positive for much longer. I think it would be even safer to say that you need to be testing negative before being around vulnerable individuals, even if it’s been, say, 12 or 13 days.

CNN: What about people who start testing positive again after first testing negative — the so-called “rebound” phenomenon? Does the clock reset for them?

Wen: Good question, and yes it does. This “rebound” phenomenon is often associated with taking the antiviral Paxlovid but could happen in people who don’t take treatments. The CDC guidance says that if someone tests positive again, the clock resets and the day they test positive the second time is day zero again. That means they still have to go through five days of isolation and mask until after day 10, just as they did the first time.

CNN: Why were these changes made? Did the science change, or is the CDC responding to public pressure?

Wen: I think there are two factors. One is the acknowledgment that Covid-19 is here to stay. We are probably going to be living with this virus for our lifetimes and our children’s lifetimes and beyond. Given that’s the case, the emphasis has to be to resume normalcy, which means cutting out policies that are disruptive to everyday life.

The other factor is that public health has to respond to where the public is. Most Americans have returned to many aspects of pre-pandemic life. The CDC guidelines seem to be meeting people where they are already — and, to some, not going far enough — for example, they still recommend masking in high-transmission areas even though most people are not doing so. For public health to be trusted, it has to be seen as relevant, and if the guidance from the CDC is too far apart from people’s everyday behavior, it won’t be trusted.

Implicit here is that there isn’t new research that’s leading to the change. Quarantine isn’t being removed because Covid-19 has become less infectious. However, circumstances have changed, including the fact that we have many more tools that reduce the likelihood of severe illness from the coronavirus.

All in all, I think the CDC made the right call. Easing restrictions now preserves the credibility of public health officials later, if stricter guidance has to be in place because of a new, more dangerous variant.

Contributor: Katia Hetter, CNN Health