Faeces, stools, number twos…Whatever you call it, everyone poops. So what does poo have to say about your health?
A whole lot actually. Digestion is a huge indicator of our health as it shows how our body is working on the inside. So before you mindlessly flush away your crap, take a peek. Our newest IQS team member and qualified nutritionist Meg is here to help decode what your poo says about you.
Floaters, stinkers and skid mark leavers.
Floating poos, poos that leave skid marks or poos that leave a shameful stench are an indicator that your body isn’t digesting or absorbing fats properly. The liver is the culprit here. It’s also one overworked organ so it’s important to care for it daily.
Tip: Flush out the liver with water and support its function with lemon juice, green veggies and bitter foods like endive, rocket, alfalfa and dill.
Hard and dry.
This means it’s not moving through your digestive system fast enough. Even if you go everyday but your poo is consistently hard and comes out in pieces rather then a soft, single piece, you are constipated.
Tip: Drinking enough water is crucial, but you can also try including chia seeds, slippery elm and increase fibrous veggies. These can include green vegetables, avocado and cabbage (why not try to make your own sauerkraut).
Sloppy or falls apart.
This means your poo is moving too fast through your digestive tract and water isn’t being absorbed and used by the body. This could be due to food intolerance, infection or artificial sweeteners. Tip: Increase soluble fibre, which will absorb extra fluid and increase roughage. You’ll find this in legumes, oatmeal, ground nuts and seeds and psyllium husks. Note: Remember to soak your legumes, nuts and seeds. This breaks down the phytic acid and makes them easier for your gut to digest.
What goes in isn’t coming out.
If you’re not “going”, you’re constipated. This is bad news because poo is toxic waste that needs to leave the body. If you’re not pooping, it means that the toxins will be re-absorbed and the liver has to deal with it all over again.
Tip: Drink more water, eat more fibrous foods and care for your liver (see first tip). Also, you might want to get your thyroid levels tested.
If your constipation is a one-off thing it can indicate you’ve changed the amount of fibre and/or water in your diet. Up both if this is the case.
“Extra fibre can make things worse if constipation is a regular complaint. Fibre can simply form a big plug in your guts. Too much water can also strip your body of minerals that can affect your digestion adversely, too. A reader below – Daisy – kindly shared a link on the subject, with an overview of the main points. You might also want to read up on Sarah’s gut fixes here.”
So, the perfect poo?
It is the shape of a banana, not too hard or too soft. It should be regular brown, easy to pass and not smell horrendous. Normal pooping frequency can range from three times a week to three times a day. However, most people feel best with one or two nicely formed poos a day.
An interesting factoid!
Also note that your mind and digestive system are in a complex neural network, so if you suffer from anxiety or depression this will have a huge impact on your digestion. Harvard Medical School has simplified this here.
* Please note: This post has been amended to include Sarah’s quote on adding fibre to your diet.
What does your poo say about you?