If you clicked on this article just based off the headline, you’re a real one. And your body thanks you. No but really though, health is wealth. And poop is like the cherry on top of the healthiest sundae your body could ever dream of having. Sorry for the poor comparison but I really had to drive it home here. I have a point, I promise.
If you’re not talking about your poop, here’s your reminder to start. If you already are, well you should feel right at home already. Which is great because things are about to get super intimate. Ready?
Functional medicine dietician, Sarah Greenfield, RD CSSD, of Fearless Fig, Studio City considers herself a poop aficionado and advises that everyone should be taking the time to check out their bowels daily.
For starters, should we be looking at our poop, daily? If so, what should we be looking for?
Yes! Looking at your poop daily can give you insights into your health. You don’t have to spend more than 15 seconds looking at your poop, you just want to take a quick look. Some of the most important things to look for are consistency, texture and color. You want your poop to be well formed and not break apart when you flush it, a well-formed poop is a great sign! You don’t want it to be too formed and hard, that could indicate not enough water and fiber in your diet. You don’t want it to be too loose because that could indicate a bacterial imbalance or underlying food allergies or sensitivities. It’s important to look for undigested food in your poop, if you see food (other than corn or black quinoa) this could indicate you are under higher levels of stress and you may need some additional enzyme support. If your poop is floating it could mean two things, you are eating a very high fiber diet or you aren’t breaking down fat appropriately. Finally color. You want your poop to be some shade of brown. If it’s black, you might have some internal bleeding, if its yellow it could indicate your liver or gallbladder may need additional support.There might be occasional moments where you deviate from a healthy bowel movement, but as long as it is once or twice and not consistent, that is ok too!
A healthy bowel movement entails a feeling of complete elimination, it should move out of your body easily without straining or pushing, be well-formed and ideally have a minimal clean-up.
An unhealthy bowel movement is difficult to pass with lots of gas and straining. It can also be on the other end of the spectrum where it is watery and creates a sense of urgency where you feel like you might not make it to the bathroom. You may even be able to see undigested food particles in your poop.
I define regular as having 1 daily, well-formed bowel movement that leaves you feeling completely emptied out. Some people will have more than one bowel movement during the day, which is great as well as long as it is well-formed.