What your poop can tell you about your body health?
Poop. We all do it, hopefully daily, but we don’t usually like to talk about it.
First, here is a bit of a strange request.
I want you to get into the habit of observing your dump/ stool/ poop.
I know, a lot of us like to flush as soon as possible to spare ourselves the supposed horror we’ve just left behind but when you do that, you’re literally flushing valuable information down the drain.
Your poop can provide a tremendous amount of insight into the function of your digestive system and the health of your body overall.
The practice of inspecting your poop is a great awareness tool that can allow you to reflect on your health and eating practices daily.
But what should you be looking for?
Here’s a handy list:
One complete elimination in the morning, preferably within the first hour of waking
A brown colour
A banana shape
Does not stick to the toilet
Easy to wipe – no mess
Almost always the same regardless of foods eaten
Mucus in the stool (looks like cobwebs wrapping around poop)
Green or yellow stool (not from eating excess green veggies)
Blood in the stool
Greasy or shiny stool
Undigested food in the stool
What does the colour of your poop mean?
As mentioned before, brown is what your stool should be. Some other colours you may see include red, green, yellow, white and black. All of these other colours (barring the consumption of foods or medications that would cause a temporary shift, such as beets) could be indicative of something going on in the body that needs to be addressed.
Here are some possibilities:
Red could mean lower gastrointestinal bleeding
Black could mean upper gastrointestinal bleeding
Green could mean Crohn’s Disease
Yellow could mean gallbladder trouble or parasites
White could indicate liver disease or pancreatic problem
How often should you poop, anyway?
Depending on your diet, age, and daily activity, regularity can mean anything from three bowel movements a day to three each week.
However, there’s more to proper bowel function that just being regular.
For example, you should be able to:
Pass a bowel motion within about a minute of sitting down on the toilet
Pass a bowel movement without pain – ideally, you should not be straining on the toilet or struggling to pass a hard or dry stool
Complete evacuation of your bowel; you should not have to go back to the bathroom soon after to pass more
So how do you achieve the perfect poop?
Chew your food! Shoot for 27 chews per bite. It should be a paste before you swallow
Eat until you are 80% full. Overeating is a massive burden on the digestive system.
Remove all sources of gluten from your diet (the most common sources are wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains)
Eat a diet that includes whole foods, rich in fresh, organic vegetables and fruits that provide healthy nutrients and fibre; most of your fibre should come from vegetables not from grains.
Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine and processed foods as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal and immune function
Boost your intestinal flora by adding naturally fermented foods into your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles and kefir (if you tolerate dairy); add a probiotic supplement if you suspect you are not getting enough bacteria from your diet alone.