Anyone who knows me well knows this is a topic I am very open about, probably a little bit too open. It astonishes me that in this day and age people are embarrassed about addressing their bowel movements. I mean, I could easily ask the majority of you intimate details about yourself and no one would bat an eye lid. However, if I ask you “what have your poo’s been like?” I guarantee a lot of you would think that I am disgusting or have serious issues. The thing is you can tell a lot about an individual’s health from their poo.
We all poo, well I hope you do on a regular basis, yet how much attention do you pay to your bowel movements? Our faeces are a clear indication of what is happening inside our bodies and if they aren’t healthy and not addressed this can have some serious implications towards your well-being. In a perfect world the poop report (yes, this is a website) defines the human digestive system as operating like a factory that:
- Obtain raw materials = we eat food
- Prep raw materials to be processed = breakdown food for nutrients
- Build product = build up wastage that the body doesn’t need
- Export finished design =Pass wastage and bacteria through the colon and anus
- Profit from the endeavour = We get energy and the nutrients needed to survive
We all know what goes in, must come out. If you’re spending a small fortune on good quality foods and supplements, you want to make sure your body is absorbing the nutrients needed and not throwing them down the crapper. Your inability to not excrete waste correctly is a painful and miserable experience I know how agonising this can be. I have been down the path of receiving multiple colonics (that’s a whole other story) to help. This also affects you mentality, emotionally and physically as well as a sign your digestive tract is being stressed, increasing the risk of chronic health conditions, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases and even cancers.
I am no expert on poo but I can safely say life feels pretty damn good when you have a good one. Sometimes if you are healthy and lucky enough you have a perfect poop, life can be a magical place. Before I go into more detail about the perfect dump, here are the four main elements we want to look for to ensure your bowels are happy.
There is no definitive answer here, research tends to suggest from 1 to 3 times daily to once every couple of days is deemed as safe. If you are going more than 5 times a day or twice a week maybe a trip to the doctor or health professional is required.
There is nothing more frustrating than not completing the job or having to sit around ages to make sure you’re done. A normal toilet break should be reasonably quick, make us feel empty and satisfied. If you’re not experiencing the relief of letting one go then the digestive system is not working at 100%.
Going to the loo should be a pleasurable and relieving experience that requires next to no effort. I am no expert on giving birth but I am assuming it is a very taxing and unpleasable ordeal. Having to force the crap out of you like “giving birth” could lead to haemorrhoids, being knackered afterwards and can surprisingly lead to heart issues from straining too hard.
Here is the Bristol stool chart to explain what everything means.
My top 5 tips to improve your bowel functioning:
- Drink more water = Constipation tends to arise from being dehydrated and if our poo is around 75% made from water and water clears the pipes. Drinking enough water is a no brainer.
- Eat food = When I say food, I mean real food. Anything that is processed, of the wheat and grain nature, high in sugar and not designed to be eaten by humans, will only inflame the digestive tract resulting in problems such as constipation and diarrhoea. Also be aware of the amount of fibre you consume.
- Fermented vegetables = Having millions of good gut flora and bacteria keep us regular. Foods like sauerkraut, Kim chi and water kefir are all excellent sources of good probiotics (if tolerated) and should be included into your diet.
- Increase fat = Increasing healthy fats such as good oils, animal fats or coconut oil are awesome in relieving constipation, healing the digestive tract and cleaning the bowels out.
- Relax = When the body is stressed the digestive system turns off as it isn’t needed. Relaxing will help promote blood flow to the gut getting everything moving.