Tag Archives: poop

How often do you poop?

dino-at-natural-history-museum

Seriously though. I know people get touchy about this subject, but let’s all be grown ups and have some real talk about the importance of regular bowel movements.

A lecturer recently mentioned that the optimum number is three – once after every meal! Ideally, you should poop at least once a day. Yep. Once a day. I know a lot of people say once every few days is fine, but really, for your body to do what it needs to do, you need to poop once a day at the very minimum.

Why once a day, you ask? Well, healthy bowel movements, far from being an irritation, are a sign that your body is getting rid of what it needs to. Bowel movements are connected to proper detoxification function in the body and mean that your body is excreting excess hormones (i.e. oestrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormone, etc), toxins (i.e. nicotine, xenoestrogens, carcinogens, insecticides, etc), pharmaceutical drugs,Β alcohol, excess fats and sugars.

For women, this is very important as regular bowel movements are linked to proper estrogen clearance. Improper estrogen clearance can lead to estrogen dominance, mood swings, heavier periods, PMS, weight gain around the middle and fatigue, amongst other symptoms.

So what do healthy bowel movements look like? In clinic, we refer to something called the Bristol Stool Chart, with type 3, 4 and 5 stools as the ideal bowel movements.

Type 1 and 2 can indicate constipation and dehydration and type 6 and 7 can indicate diarrhoea and fat malabsorption. NB: please see a doctor if you ever spot blood or mucus in your stool.

bristol_stool_chart_the-poo-nurses

What if you don’t have healthy, regular bowel movements? If you are not suffering from diarrhoea, there are two immediate fixes I would always suggest:

1. Increase your water intake to around 1.5 – 2L per day.

2. Increase your vegetable intake, ideally green leafy veg, consumed in their whole form, not juiced. Try to have at least 5-7 servings of a wide range of vegetables a day. If that’s not possible, try to have a big salad with lots of leafy greens for either lunch or dinner.

I would also recommend increasing the amount of fermented foods in your diets – foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, natto, miso and kombucha. These foods feed the good bacteria in your gut, support digestion of large carbohydrates and boost your immune system. A happy gut = happy bowels!

Stories I loved this week.

cretanbeach

Another week goes by and it’s another week that I’m closer to finishing my second year of my nutrition degree. I had my final practical assessments last week, which were nerve wracking and amazing at the same time and my final year exam is on 9th July. Which means that I had better get cracking on the studying!

That’s one of the benefits of the weather not being so great right now in London. I’m not stuck inside poring over books, while everyone is enjoying the sun. Schadenfreude, I know. Once the exams are done, next up is to book another holiday to have something to look forward to. We’re thinking Corsica or Sardinia for somewhere different. Have you been to either?

How Brexit might affect women in Britain. Β (Refinery 29 UK)

Speaking of Brexit and BrIN (!), are you registered to vote? Β (Gov.UK)

Better ways to use your food processor. (Bon Appetit)

The definitive guide to adaptogens – herbs that protect your body from stress and fatigue. (Well + Good)

Time goes, no matter what you do. I’m covetous of the time I have. I want to make sure I use it more wisely.” A great piece on how we have more time than we think. (New York Times)

Weight loss is a long term process – patience is key. (Greatist)

A great summary of all the things you need to know about poop. (The Science of Us)

A great guide to high heat cooking processes. (goop)