What Is Your Poop Saying About Your Health?
Poop. Something that all of us do, hopefully daily, but nobody likes to talk about it! Well, today we are going to get down and dirty and give you something to add to your morning ritual. It may seem like a weird request, but just trust me on this one. My challenge for you is to get into the habit of observing your daily dump.
Why might you ask? Well, our poop tells all. Our poop can give us a tremendous amount of insight into the function of our digestive systems and health of our body overall. We all know that knowledge is power, and the practice of inspecting our poop is a great awareness tool that allows us to reflect on our health and eating practices DAILY. So, I bet you are dying to know what makes a perfect poop. Here is Ayurvedic expert John Douillard’s take on the perfect poop.
The Perfect Stool:
- One complete elimination in the morning
- A brown color
- A banana shape
- Does not stick to the toilet
- Easy to wipe – no mess
- Minimal odor
- 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)
- Black stool
- Greasy or shiny stool
- Clay-colored stools
- Blood in the stool
- Undigested food in the stool
What is regular, anyway?
WebMD says: “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 than just being regular. For example, you should be able to:
- Pass a bowel motion within about a minute of sitting down on the toilet. (The bowel usually wants to empty about 30 minutes after a meal (commonly breakfast), but this can vary from person to person.)
- Pass a bowel motion quickly and without pain – ideally, you should not be straining on the toilet or struggling to pass a bowel motion which is hard and dry.
- Complete evacuation of your bowel- you do not have to go back to the bathroom soon after — to pass more.
What color is the perfect poop?
Brown is best! You knew that, though, right? Some other colors you may see: red, green, yellow, white, and black.
All of these other colors (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 GI bleeding.
- Green could mean Crohn’s Disease.
- Yellow could mean gallbladder trouble or parasites.
- White could indicate liver disease or pancreatic problem.
- Black could mean upper GI bleeding.
12 Tips to Get the Perfect Poop:
- Chew your food! Shoot for 27 chews per bite, it should be a paste before swallowing.
- 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 fiber; most of your fiber 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 beneficial bacteria from your diet alone
- Try increasing your fiber intake; good options include psyllium and freshly ground organic flax seed (shoot for 50 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed).
- Make sure you stay well hydrated with fresh, pure water
- Get plenty of exercise daily. Get a Rebounder (mini trampoline) and bounce for 5-10 minutes daily!
- Avoid pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers that will slow your bowel function. Antidepressants and antibiotics can cause a variety of GI disruptions.
- Address emotional challenges with tools like EFT, journaling and therapy.
- Consider squatting instead of sitting to move your bowels. Squatting straightens your rectum, relaxes your puborectalis muscle and encourages the complete emptying of your bowel without straining, and has been scientifically shown to relieve constipation and hemorrhoids. I highly recommend using a Squatty Potty Toilet Stool!
Well, there you have it. Inspect your poops daily and use them as an indicator of your overall health and how well you are treating your body!