**Warning** If you are offended by the word poo or poop you may want to skip this post. I use those words a lot!
When is the last time you looked at your poop? Did you really check it out? or just try to ignore it while reaching for the toilet handle?
Your poop is talking to you. It’s telling you the state of your digestive system. It’s giving you clues as to how your health is doing.
Your poop is a strong decoder for your health. And if you work with me long enough, eventually I am going to ask, how’s your poop?
Here’s what you do want: to poop at least once a day, maybe twice. Your poop should look like a sausage. And not the short, small breakfast kind. You want the big, meaty, Italian kind.
Here’s what most of us experience: maybe a poop every other day or so. Small sausage poop that is really hard, or stringy poop that soft. Or maybe you are more extreme. You have pellet poop that is really hard, or you have liquid diarrhea.
That was me – liquid diarrhea. So gross!
Mind you, I was just happy to be pooping at all because I went for years with chronic constipation.
My poop was telling me that I was not healthy and I didn’t listen for a really long time. I was bloated, gasey, embarrassed because I often farted in work meetings, and my skin would break out often. I felt tired, and I felt sick. But I wasn’t willing to listen to my poop.
After much prodding from my husband, and one really embarrassing moment at work where my boss thought a sewer pipe had burst because my gas stank so bad, I decided I had to make a change.
The first thing I did was stop eating dairy. That took care of my most embarrassing symptom – the super stinking farts. But I was still bloated and still had undesirable poops.
It wasn’t until my first fitness competition that I really figured out how to heal my digestion system and get the poops of my dreams.
During the beginning of my competition prep I was getting a little desperate to figure out why I had liquid diarrhea All. The. Time. My doctor did a bunch of tests, which I won’t describe but will say that I don’t recommend them, and all of them came back negative.
As I am going through this long process with my doctor and getting no results, I continued preparing for my fitness competition. And my poop got better. I started having perfect, big, sausage poops. The kind you really want when you know that your poop is an indicator of health.
What changed? Vegetables Yes, vegetables.
During competition prep I am on a rigid meal plan, where a large portion is vegetables. Usually I would eat a token vegetable at dinner, but none throughout the day. During competition prep I began eating at least 8 oz of vegetable at 4 meals throughout the day. I was consuming like 500% more vegetable than I normally would eat.
To test my theory, after my competition was done I went back to mostly my old way of eating. I ate a lot less vegetables. And my poo got bad again. So, I started eating a lot of vegetables again. And my poo got better.
Over the next year I played with my diet, but it became extremely clear that vegetables were the key to healthy poo. Which means, vegetables are probably super important for your digestive system health.
And science backs up my theory.
One reason vegetables help with our digestion system and improving the quality of our poops is they are full of fibre. Studies have shown that the fibre in vegetables can help increase the frequency in which you poop and may help alleviate constipation.
Poor quality poop can often be a sign that your gut flora is not healthy. We need a lot of healthy gut flora to digest and absorb our food properly.
One study found that following a diet high in vegetables prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria.
And another showed that those who consume a diet high in vegetables have higher gut bacteria diversity, which is a good thing for our intestinal health.
The changes in my health, in that of many of my clients, and science has shown that your poop matters. If your poop is not ideal a simple action you can take that may help correct it is to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet.
Got questions about your poop, or the role vegetables play in your health. Send me an email or DM anytime.