How Well Does Your Colon Work? Here Are Three Simple Test You Can Perform To Find Out
01. The Jerusalem artichoke test. The Jerusalem artichoke is very rich in a wholesome but hard-to-digest fiber called fructans. If you can eat an entirely raw, average-sized Jerusalem artichoke without experiencing any discomfort, your intestinal flora is not bad.
02. The Everest test. If your intestinal flora is working well, it’s normal to have stools weighing just under one pound (about 400 to 500 g) twice daily. However, modern toilets are not built for this, so count on your toilet becoming slightly overworked. A small “Alpine tip” should peak over the waterline, and the water should rise a little when you flush the toilet.
03. The corn test. In a perfect world, waste’s journey through the body should take about twenty-four hours (up to forty-eight hours is okay). You can check this by keeping an eye out for when the corn kernels reappear.
Scientists commonly measure the effect of antioxidants using ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity), a measure that quantifies the concentration of antioxidants and their ability to deal with free radicals. Spices often contain more antioxidants per gram than other parts of the plant. While it is primarily different types of spices that make it to the top of ORAC’s list, you’ll also find sorghum, acai berries, quinoa, and sumac in the top tier of antioxidant-rich foods.
We filled our entire kitchen with spices as soon as we realized that many of them were on ORAC’s best-of list. Dried spices went into the spice cabinet and fresh herbs went into pots, as well as in the refrigerator and freezer. Antioxidant levels were boosted in simple, everyday meals when we seasoned our dinners with cumin, parsley, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, dill, rosemary, and coriander. We also quickly noted which spices were a hit with the kids and used them liberally when we served a new dish we worried they might not want to try.
Another discovery was that we didn’t need to add as much salt as before, salt being our go-to seasoning for everything in the past. Unfortunately, the formula isn’t that simple—not every nutrient-dense food is automatically anti-inflammatory. Take beans for example, which
we often eat and which are very nutritious: they’re healthy for intestinal flora but also slightly inflammatory. We’re not hardliners, but a good tip is to get into the habit of seasoning inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory spices.