Here is the Scoop
Everybody poops yet somehow we are embarrassed to talk about it. I get it… It’s not the sexiest or prettiest conversation, but a healthy poop (or lack of) is a reflection of your overall health. This is a common conversation in our house. Probably due to all the potty jokes and talks from my husband and son, I’m used to having this type of conversations.
In addition, Ayurveda and other wellness practices emphasize the importance of a regular visit to the toilet. So let’s talk poop.
Poop is made up of leftover indigestible fiber, bacteria and dead gut cells. Your food is processed in your intestines where essential nutrients, fats, vitamins and minerals are absorbed into your bloodstream. The remaining leftovers or waste continue to move through the digestive system process, getting out of your body and into the toilet.
Ideally you should poop every day in the morning after waking up. The number of times you should go in a day can vary between 1-3 times. Basically once after every meal. But it is normal if you only go once per day. However if you only go 2-4 times per week or more than 4 times per day, you should definitely consult your doctor.
What does a Healthy Poop Look like?
Color: A healthy poop should be medium brown in color. According to Ayurveda imbalances in your constitution may cause your poop to be
- Pitta Constitution: Yellowish
- Vata Constitution: Dark
- Kapha Constitution: Pale
Stools that are yellow or light brown indicate bile insufficiency. Similarly, stools should not be green, or very dark brown.
Weight: there is a debate about this. Some say a floating stool is good while others say it is not. Ayurvedic doctors believe that toxicity in our bodies will create a heavier, stickier stool.
Heaviness depends on the quality of the food and the quality of digestion. Meat makes stools heavy, while a vegetarian diet provides lightness.
Shape: Ideally your poop is roughly the size and shape of a banana. Oh come on, you can handle it! It can also have the shape of an “S” mimicking the shape of your intestines.
Texture: it should be solid but soft like toothpaste texture. Too hard, cracked, or pellets can indicate constipation. Runny, liquid and loose can indicate diarrhea.
Our digestion and elimination have a great impact in how we feel and overall health. These are some samples of imbalances you may experience when you are not visiting the bathroom regularly.
- feeling sluggish
- depressed or overweight
- emaciated and weak
- cramping, bloating, gas
Redness, blackness, undigested food particles, and mucous should be noted and mentioned to your doctor when necessary.
My Healthy Poop Guide
Think of PLFF (probiotics, liquids, fiber and fitness) as your guides for a healthy stool.
Probiotics: Your intestines host over 100 trillion bacteria and a large number of them end up in your poop. Probiotics are good bacteria and alongside digestive enzymes help break down food to provide nutrition to our bodies and are key in helping us stay regular. This is why it’s so important to create a healthy environment for probiotics (healthy bacteria) to grow and reduce the conditions where unhealthy bacteria can grow.
Tips to increase good bacteria in your gut:
- Eat fermented foods like tempeh, miso, kombucha and sauerkraut.
- Eat high-fiber foods (pre-biotics). Pre-biotics are fibers found in lost of fruits and veggies that provide a healthy environment for good bacteria to grow.
- Take a high-quality probiotic supplement. I use PB assist from doterra since it has both pre-biotins and probiotics.
Liquids: You need to stay hydrated especially when consuming food high in fiber. Hydration is key to a healthy body.
- Make sure that you drink ½ of your body wait in ounces.
- Don’t wait to drink water till you’re thirsty and
- Make sure your pee is light in color. The darker, the more concentrated it is, indicates you need to drink more fluids.
Fiber: Dietary fibers are food that will help you become regular. Fibers are categorized into soluble and insoluble. A diet low in fiber will definitely create a back up, if you know what I mean.
- Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel in your intestines. This helps make your poop smooth enough to keep everything moving. Increase your intake of some of these great foods containing soluble fiber: oatmeal, apples, flax, beans, peas, lentils, oranges, berries and psyllium (corn husk).
- Insoluble fiber does not absorb water. They are like a broom sweeping waste along to get things moving. Consume more whole grains, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, onions, dried fruit, nuts and root vegetable skins.
Fitness: There is no way around this one. You need to get your body moving to help things move along inside. Yoga, Pilates and aerobic exercises are fantastic ways to build core strength and get your elimination system going. Gentle activities like walking is also helpful.
Bonus Tip: get yourself Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool 7″- White or Squatty Potty The Original Adjustable Height Bathroom Toilet Stool- Tao Bamboo to help you get things moving with ease.
Give these tips a try and in no time you’ll be happy about your bathroom trips.
P.S. Want more tips to keep things moving?
Check out my Best Self Cleanse Program, a 28-day wellness program to improve your eating habits (never go hungry), cleanse your body naturally and implement easy to follow routines for a Healthier Happier You!