As a Naturopathic Practitioner, I speak of many things related to health with my clients. Including but not limited to:
Breathing...or lack thereof...
"Alida, my digestion is JUST fine! I poop A LOT!"
Ummm...Don't you have IBS?
"Yeah. That's why I'm not concerned about digestion. It just comes right out with no issue."
Au contraire, mon frère. If that's the case, we have MUCH work to do!
Here's the thing, most people walk around with digestive disorders and never once stop to question WHY these issues exist or HOW they can be reversed.
In fact, simply accepting the diagnosis 'delicate digestion' seems to be the path of least resistance while silently suffering in agony because "that's just how it is."
The quality of your poop can indicate MANY things about your health and longevity.
So if you're stopped up all the time OR your gut is extremely sensitive, it's time for a Come to Jesus moment...seriously.
There are two common ways to analyze your poop: texture and color.
We'll start with texture and the Bristol Poop Chart:
As you can see, each shape and structure indicates a bit about what's happening in your gut. Traditionally, your health care professional will recommend things like fiber, fruits and veggies, or whole grains to keep your gut health in check.
But, this general rule of thumb can come back and bite you in the ass...no pun intended...if you aren't paying attention to how your body responds to these dietary adjustments.
For example, we don't speak enough about TOO MUCH fiber.
And yes, there are many people who take in too much.
It creates bloating and constipation and sometimes VERY painful gas.
This depends on the types of fiber and the foods they are paired with. Something you'll want to speak with your Practitioner about.
Another way to assess your daily poop is by color...
While color variations aren't as common as textural changes, they are still important to notice.
If you're checking regularly and notice your poop has turned red, be sure to review your diet before panicking.
A fresh-pressed beet juice may be the culprit!
Now here's where things get a little tricky...
Recommendations for having a bowel movement are typically 1-3 times per day. Depending on the number of times you eat per day.
BUT...because certain foods are broken down in different parts of the gut, based on how you combine your foods, what types of foods you eat, and in what amounts, how 'often' you go WILL be affected.
And we also don't speak often enough about the quality of your body's ability to break down food...and how THAT impacts the quality of your poop.
Higher fiber foods will create a bulkier poop.
Higher protein foods tend to create a tighter, more solid texture.
And depending on your liver and gall-bladder health, higher fat foods MAY create looser stools.
To make matters worse, ultra-processed foods, high-gluten foods, and foods laced with glyphosate (non-organic foods) can contribute to a thick sludge coating on the lining of your gut.
Over time, this sludge prevents your gut from not only breaking down the food...
It prevents absorption of nutrients that keep you healthy.
In time, this creates an inflammatory response which then leads to leaky gut...
Which can then lead to autoimmune conditions such as Chron's and Lupus. Which is typically the case in IBS.
And all of this to say...
Your health is directly related to the way your body breaks down food and your poop is one of the BEST ways to determine if your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
Some simple steps you can take immediately to improve your gut health:
1. reduce stress- stress slows down digestion and prevents absorption of nutrients
2. increase probiotics- whether from foods or supplements, this will help the gut break down food. Our Flora Euphoria contains 40 billion CFU probiotics + prebiotics to help restore gut health.
3. increase prebiotic-rich foods- these are fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut typically found in fruits, veggies, legumes, & grains (but be sure to sprout/soak your grains and beans overnight before cooking to neutralize the Phytic Acid)
4. reduce your intake of processed sugars, white flours, and GMO foods- this will help to reduce inflammation in the gut and support a cleansing of the sludge that's covering your gut lining
5. increase raw fruits and veggies- enzymes found in raw produce are essential for nutrient absorption
Small steps, made consistently over time, will support not only your gut but overall health.
And be sure to check out our store for some NEW additions to support gut health:
Immune Attune: a fermented mushroom powder that helps to support the immune system by way of the gut
Detox Aid: natural support for removal of heavy metals, toxins, and parasites
Take control of your health in 2024.
Starting with your