We know it's an awkward question. It's one that you probably try to avoid, especially over the dinner table, but it's one that you should be asking yourself and your loved ones more often. Why? Well, poo is the gateway to better understanding your gut health. Silly as it may sound, if you know enough about stool, you can gain insights into what your gut health is experiencing and what you need to do to potentially amend ailments.
This is likely a topic you don't research very often. We get it, it feels weird. So, rather than making you trawl through hundreds of Google pages, we've broken it all down for you here today. Keep reading to find out more about poo, what influences it and what you can do to make sure you are pooping healthily.
Now, that's a sentence you probably didn't think you'd be reading today.
Firstly, why is your poo (or stool) important?
The quality of your stool probably isn't something you think about very often; except when you have diarrhoea or constipation, that is. But, your stool can tell you a lot about your gut health. For example, separate small and hard clumps are often a sign that you are constipated. This may indicate a few things, including that you are not drinking enough water, that your diet lacks fibre and that you're likely not exercising enough (pretty insightful, hey?).
It works the opposite way too, but we will dig into that a little deeper later. Essentially, assessing the quality of your poo, even once a week, can help you understand what your body is lacking before the extreme symptoms kick in. It's your number one way to proactively heal yourself, which can save you big dollars in medication (and potential hospital bills).
How can you assess your stool?
The Bristol Stool Chart is a fantastic place to start. It describes the texture, appearance and colour of bad and good stool. This chart is a go-to if something feels off in your body and you are trying to work out what is causing it. Some variations of the chart, like the one we have attached below, will also explain why you are noticing these changes in your stool. Aiming for a poo within the 3-4 range is ideal and indicates that everything is behaving inside your gut as it should.
What can you do if you are constipated?
Constipation is usually caused by a lack of fibre in a diet. Unfortunately, it's not something that you can repair straight away. Even medication, such as laxatives, will only provide a short-term solution. To ensure you find a long-term repair to constipation, the solution is in your diet.
One of the best things you can add to your daily routine to reduce constipation is a Jomeis Fine Foods Superfood Breakfast Bowl. Not only are these some of the highest dietary fibre breakfast alternatives on the market, but they are also super delicious and convenient. All you have to do is mix three tablespoons of the powder with plant-based milk, and within a few minutes, the bowl is ready. Some of the ingredients that will help improve your digestion include sunflower seeds, buckwheat and psyllium husk.
Other solutions to preventing constipation include more physical activity and drinking plenty of water. Monitoring your stool for the early signs of constipation can help prevent extreme stomach pains. Implementing the above changes, if you notice that something is wrong will help you return to normality as soon as possible.
What can you do if you have diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is on the opposite end of the spectrum to constipation. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection, viruses, food intolerances and a reaction to medicines. It can also cause intense stomach cramps and can mean that you need to change your daily routine, especially as you will likely need to have a toilet nearby at all times.
To stop diarrhoea for this reason, you need to do the opposite of what you would do to stop constipation. This includes making use of the BRAT diet, which involves low-fibre, starchy and bland foods. Some of the best alternatives when you're experiencing diarrhoea, for this reason, include bananas, bread and rice. Once your diarrhoea has subsided, it's important to try and navigate the cause of it. Switching to foods, like the Jomeis Fine Foods range, which was created for people with intolerances, can help you identify if your diarrhoea was caused by substances such as dairy or gluten.
Your poo can tell you a thing or two about what's going on inside your body. So, sparing the extra moment to take notice of your poo can help you find the correct remedies for your body, especially when diarrhoea and constipation are considered.
Ideally, you should be pooping 1-2 times a day. But remember, everybody is different, so consulting a doctor is the best way to find out if you need to get on the Jomeis Fine Foods Superfood Breakfast Bowls and begin detoxing.
We will leave you with this. It's better to spend some time evaluating your poo (even if you may not feel 100% comfortable doing so) than feeling shitty down the track. Now that's a pun if we do say so ourselves.