What does your poo say about you?

This week I was going to look at  probiotics, prebiotics, fibre and poo. But after my research I think I may have to do probiotics and probiotics next week as there is so much to learn about our POO!

So what does your poo say about you?

I still remember many years ago, Oprah had someone on her show and they were talking about turning around on the toilet and seeing what came out as an indication of what is going on inside your body. For some reason that episode has stuck with me and I believe it is a great way to judge your body health on the inside. So what is poo? Poo is made up of water, fibre, bacteria, bile and sloughed-off cells from the inside of your intestinal tract.

You may be amazed, delighted, or shocked to know that there is a chart that lets you know, according to your poo, how your insides are going.

bristolstoolchart

On Sarah Wilson’s website she explains it like this :-

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 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.

Here is another way to look at it – 

Screenshot 2016-08-31 06.49.54

So what is 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.

Giulia Enders author of ‘GUT: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Under-Rated Organ’, explains that we may be pooing all wrong. Enders tells about various studies that show that we poop more efficiently if we squat. This is because the closure mechanism of the gut is not designed to “open the hatch completely” when we’re sitting down or standing up: it’s like a kinked hose. Squatting is far more natural and puts less pressure on our bottoms. She says: “1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles. We in the west, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms.” 

But not to worry. Although you can climb on your toilet seat and squat (“It might be fun!”), we can iron out the kink by sitting with our feet on a little stool and leaning forward. The book even has a helpful drawing by Enders’ sister.

Alternet

gut-image

So what relationship does fibre have with poo?

Lets start by looking what fibre is. Fibre isn’t digested by your body like fats, proteins, or carbs. in fact, it stays pretty much the same until it hits your colon. There are two types of fibre: those that don’t dissolve in water (insoluble fibre) and those that do (soluble fibre).

Insoluble fibre – This is found in the seeds and skins of fruit (so always eat your peels) as well as whole-wheat bread, legumes and brown rice.

insoluble-fiber-foods

Soluble Fibre -Can be found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium husks/hull.

soluble-fiber-foods

Both types of fibre are beneficial to the body and your gut.

Why is it important?

The principal advantage of a diet high in fibre is in improving the health of the digestive system. The digestive system is lined with muscles that massage food along the tract from the moment a mouthful is swallowed until the eventual waste is passed out of the bowel. Since fibre is relatively indigestible, it adds bulk to the poo.

Soluble fibre soaks up water like a sponge, which helps to bulk out the poo and allows it to pass through the gut more easily. It acts to slow down the rate of digestion. This slowing down effect is usually overridden by insoluble fibre, which does not absorb water and speeds up the time that food passes through the gut.

Better Health Vic Govt

You do need to be careful with your fibre intake as to much can cause problems and so can too little. For more information read here – https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fibre-in-food

The Australian recommendation of fibre intake a day is more than 30grams.

Some ideas to increase your fibre intake – 

  • Go with whole fruit instead of juice. Whole apples and whole oranges are packed with a lot more fibre.
  • Break the fast with fruit. Get off to a great start by adding fruit, like berries or melon, to your breakfast every day.
  • Check the label for fibre-filled whole grains. Choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats)
  • Eat more beans. It’s easy to forget about beans, but they’re a great tasting, cheap source of fibre, good carbs, protein, and other important nutrients.
  • Try a new dish. Test out international recipes that use whole grains, like tabouli or whole wheat pasta, or beans, like Indian dahls.
  • Psyllium husks/hull are a wonderful source of fibre and can be easily added to your morning smoothie.

 

high-fibre-foods

Catalyst

If you found the first part interesting you will love this second! –

Part 2 – http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4511643.htm

 

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