“I just had a life-changing poop -- It was better than sex!” - an old friend said enthusiastically to me, years ago.
Maybe you haven't thought of a great poop as better than sex, but it's undoubtably a feeling I'd venture to say we've all had!
Talking about poop with such ease and candid humor helped me see that it's okay to feel comfortable talking about it!
Years later, I learned why you should actually really care about your poop health:
Your poo is a clue!
The color, shape, texture, smell, and frequency of your poop is directly lated to the health of your gut, which I’ll remind you, houses 70-80% of the immune system.
If your poop is off, your gut health and immune system are off!
And speaking of frequency, how often should you go?
It varies from person to person. Less than three bowel movements a week or going several times a day is something to take note of.
While frequency is not necessarily by itself an indicator of poor gut health or poop problems, what might be more concerning is if there’s a change from your normal pattern.
The following chart is based on the Bristol Stool Chart, which is a diagnostic scale created by the University of Bristol to help you understand your bowel movement health and speak with a healthcare professional about it.
Ideally your daily poop is Type 4.
If this isn’t you, your poop might be telling you:
Your nutrition may need an upgrade
You may be chronically stressed
You may be chronically dehydrated
Your hormones could be out of balance
You might have an unidentified food intolerance
Your gut health needs to be addressed
You might need more daily exercise and movement
You may have a health issue that’s hindering your health such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, or an autoimmune condition
Does your poop float?
Common causes for floating stools are excess gas, and malabsorption or poor absorption, which means you’re not absorbing the fats and other nutrients that you're eating.
7 ways to help you poop like a boss! 1. Drink water! Water will keep you hydrated and things moving in your body.
2. Eat Fiber! Fiber aids in healthy poops. Soluble (dissolves in water) fiber foods include oats, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble (it doesn’t dissolve in water) fiber foods include wheat bran, whole grains, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.
3. Limit caffeine! Caffeine is a bowel irritant and a diuretic, which means it’s dehydrating. And when you’re dehydrated, all systems are adversely affected.
4. Consume probiotic foods! Probiotics are helpful microorganisms that contribute to the “good” bacteria in your digestive system help break down your food and help facilitate healthy bowel movements. Probiotic foods include raw sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and traditionally made tempeh.
5. Get exercise! Exercise gets your blood flowing. Your gastrointestinal tract is made of muscle tissue so daily movement and helps everything else in your body move and promotes healthy bowels, too.
6. Elevate your feet! Propping your feet up on a stool or a stack of books can help with elimination.
7. Keep stress in check! Bad and chronic stress lead to unhealthy poops.
May the Type 4 be with you!
Functional Nutritional Therapist & Wellness Coach www.thewellnessheadquarters.com
July 14, 2020