Do you know your transit time? No, it is not the time that it takes for you to get to work in the morning. Your transit time is the time it takes for your food to pass through your entire digestive system.
Why is this important to know? Knowing your own transit time is helpful for knowing how fast you are absorbing your food or how slow. If you have a slow digestion, more than a two day transit time, your food may start to ferment in your bowels. This fermentation process can lead to inflammation of the intestines, gas, pressure, discomfort, and aggrivate constipation. If inflammation becomes chronic it may lead to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, chrones disease, or leaky gut syndrome.
Finding out how long your transit time is not too difficult. All you need to do is eat food that is vibrant in color and see when the food comes out in your bowel movement. One of the easiest foods to do this with is beets. Cook yourself up a lovely dish with at least 1/4 cup of beets, eat them up, write down the time, and wait for the other end.
With ideal digestion, the color molecules in beets are broken down in your digestive system and are not absorbed. If they are not broken down, some of the color molecules will be absorbed and will be excreted in the urine, coloring your urine. This makes beets great for testing transit time because you can also tell how effectively you are breaking down the color molecules. If your body is effectivly breaking down the beets you will not get the color in your urine.
Not sure how to eat beets? Fresh beets are delicious and can be eaten in a salad once peeled and either chopped or grated. Beets can also be juiced when fresh and mixed into your smoothie. Be careful, beet juice can easiy dye your skin and couner tops if not quickly cleaned.
Beets can also be roasted. Slice some onions, peel and slice your beets, toss with olive oil, and lay out your vegetables on an aluminum foil coverd baking sheet. Bake at 350 degreese Farenheight for 40-50 minutes or until the ends of your onions start to get brown and your vegetables are tender. Put your vegetables into a bowl and toss with some herbs of your choice. I like a sprinkle of lemon juice and thyme.
If you are looking for additional support for improving your digestion, please consult with a professional herbalist.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. Join her for live classes and The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities.