What is the best laxative to clean you out?

Having a healthy digestive system is crucial for overall wellbeing. Your digestive health affects your energy levels, mood, immune system, and more. An unhealthy gut can contribute to issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramps, acid reflux, and nausea. Fortunately, there are many lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can get your digestive system back on track.

The Importance of Digestive Health

Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, eliminating waste, and housing trillions of microbes that support various bodily functions. When your digestive system isn’t working properly, it can trigger an array of problems extending far beyond digestive discomfort.

Research shows that gut health is tied to:

  • Immune function – Most of your immune cells are housed in the GI tract. An imbalance of gut microbes is linked to increased inflammation and weakened immunity.
  • Mental health – Your gut and brain communicate via the gut-brain axis. GI issues are associated with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
  • Metabolism – The gut plays a major role in nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Imbalances can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  • Skin health – Skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis are often rooted in poor gut health.
  • Sleep quality – GI discomfort can interfere with sleep. Certain gut microbes also regulate circadian rhythms.

Caring for your digestive system should be a top priority for protecting your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s explore some strategies for optimizing your GI function.


Diet is one of the most crucial factors shaping your digestive health. The foods you eat impact gut microbiome balance, intestinal inflammation, bowel regularity, and more. Follow these diet tips:

Eat More Fiber

Fiber is vital for proper digestion. It adds bulk to stool, encouraging regular bowel movements. Fiber also feeds healthy gut bacteria that play many important roles. Adults should aim for 25-40 grams of fiber per day from sources like:

  • Vegetables – artichokes, green peas, broccoli, squash, carrots
  • Fruits – raspberries, pears, apples, bananas, figs
  • Whole grains – oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread
  • Legumes – lentils, beans, chickpeas
  • Nuts and seeds

Increase fiber slowly and drink plenty of fluids to prevent bloating and gas.

Eat Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbs that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. They act as “fertilizer” for probiotics. Get more prebiotics from:

  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Oats
  • Legumes

Consume Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits when consumed. They help repopulate your microbiome with healthy bacteria. Yogurt with active cultures is a common probiotic food. Other sources include:

  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Miso

You can also take probiotic supplements for a concentrated dose.

Limit Processed Foods

Processed and fried foods are common culprits behind digestive issues. These foods tend to be low in fiber and high in fat, both of which slow digestion. Processed ingredients like added sugars, chemical preservatives, and emulsifiers also harm gut bacteria.

Reduce FODMAPs

FODMAPs are certain carbs that can exacerbate IBS symptoms. FODMAPs ferment rapidly, causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea in sensitive people. Foods high in FODMAPs include:

  • Fructose – fruit juice, apples, pears
  • Lactose – dairy products
  • Fructans – wheat, onions, garlic
  • Galactans – legumes
  • Polyols – stone fruits, artificial sweeteners

Try eliminating FODMAPs for a few weeks to see if it relieves symptoms. Then slowly reintroduce them one at a time.

Prioritize Whole Foods

Aim to focus your diet around wholesome, minimally processed foods like:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Herbs and spices

These nutrient-dense foods nourish gut health and keep your digestive system functioning optimally.

Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle factors also influence digestive health. Try incorporating these practices:

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough fluids is vital for regular bowel movements. Water also keeps your stool soft to move easily through the intestines. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated fluids per day.


Regular physical activity supports digestive motility and bowel regularity. Exercise also reduces stress, which can alleviate GI issues. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most days.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress affects gut microbiome balance and triggers intestinal inflammation. Practices like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and gratitude journaling can activate the relaxation response to ease GI distress.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep alters gut microbes, increases intestinal permeability, and slows motility. Strive for seven to nine hours per night to support digestive health.

Quit Smoking

Smoking damages gut bacteria diversity, impairs immune function, and boosts inflammation. Kicking the habit improves overall digestive health.


Certain supplements can also help get your gut back on track. Always consult your doctor before starting supplements.


As mentioned earlier, probiotic supplements provide concentrated doses of beneficial bacteria. Look for broad-spectrum formulas with strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzyme supplements support the breakdown and absorption of foods. They can relieve issues like gas, bloating, and indigestion. Look for blends containing amylase, lipase, lactase, and proteases.


The amino acid glutamine promotes intestinal barrier function and gut repair. It can help heal conditions like leaky gut syndrome.

Herbal Remedies

Many herbal supplements have beneficial effects on digestion. Peppermint oil helps relax intestinal muscles. Ginger soothes nausea and inflammation. Aloe vera acts as a gentle laxative.

When to See a Doctor

Make sure to consult your physician if you experience:

  • Persistent diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in stool
  • Fever along with GI issues
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain

These could indicate an underlying intestinal disorder requiring medical treatment. Peptic ulcers, IBD, colon cancer, and other serious conditions can sometimes cause digestive problems.


Supporting your gut health requires an all-encompassing approach. A nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, active lifestyle, stress relief, proper hydration, and targeted supplements can all help get your digestive system functioning optimally. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel and adjust your diet accordingly. Be patient through the process – it takes time to repair and rebalance the intricate gut ecosystem. With a commitment to digestive wellness, you can get your GI tract back on track and boost overall health.

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