Let's talk about poo. It's a topic that has been tabooed over the years, but it is important to educate yourself on your bowel movements. You can tell so much about your overall health from your number 2 that it would be a mistake not to learn about it! The shape, color, odor and even sound of your poo can give you clues into your health. Ready? Let's get started.
What is in my poo? Your poo is about 75 percent water, with the rest being made up of fiber, live and dead bacteria, miscellaneous cells and mucus. (via Everyday Health)
What should my poo look like? The perfect stool should be a log-like and S-shaped, not broken into pieces. Poop that looks like a torpedo is healthy as well. Typically, your poo should be brown-colored, but different colored poo can simply be an indicator of something in your diet. For example, dark leafy greens can cause your stool to look green, and some medications can cause you poo to look grey or clay-colored. Beets are especially known for changing your poo to a red color. However, one thing to look out for is jet black poop, which could be an indicator of bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract. Your poop should also sink. Floating stools are often an indication of high fat content, which can be a sign of malabsorption, a disorder in which you can't absorb enough fat and nutrients from the food you're ingesting. It's associated with celiac disease. (via Everyday Health)
How should my poo smell? Everyone knows that poop smells less than appetizing. That's normal. Your poo should smell bad, but not REALLY bad. A particularly pungent poo can mean that you have a stomach bug, or it can even be an indicator of a malabsorptive disorder. (via Mercola)
How often should I be pooping? Normal is relative when it comes to the regularity of your poo. Whether you have a strict daily schedule or you can go days between poops, that's all okay. Being consistent in your own schedule is what's important. Whether you poop three times a day or three times a week, you should keep track of how often you're going. By the way, it takes your body about 18 to 72 hours to convert food into poop and pass it. Once you do pass it, listen for a slight whoosh into the water, rather than a loud plop. (via Mercola)
How can I make sure my poo is perfect? Achieving poo perfection is easier said than done, but a healthy diet will go a long way. Here are some tips to help your poo be the best it can be. (via Mercola)
- Remove gluten from your diet (i.e., wheat, barley, rye and other grains)
- Eat whole foods and organic fruits and veggies.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugars, chemical additives, MSG and lots of caffeine. Those are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal functions and can lead to difficulty pooping.
- Eat naturally fermented foods (i.e., sauerkraut and pickles)
- Increase your fiber intake!
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise daily.
- Avoid pharmaceutical drugs like painkillers and antidepressants if you can. They slow down the bowel movement process.
- Try squatting. As goofy as it sounds, squatting over the toilet instead of sitting on the toilet can help you pass your poo. It straightens your rectum, relaxes the puborectalis muscle and encourages complete emptying of the bowel without straining it. And you know we're all about those squats!
Looking to incorporate more fiber into your diet? We've got you covered.