WHAT MAKES A GREAT POOP?
WHAT MAKES A GREAT POOP?
Here's somebody who's had a great poop. Look at that smile. He's got no teeth, but something great just happened – and I don't think it was having sex! This is the face of a happy bowel movement. You need five things to have a good poop. To find out the magic formula for your body, read on!
You need sufficient hydration, somewhere in that neighborhood of two quarts of water a day, preferably with an adequate supply of minerals. Your drinking water shouldn’t be distilled - you're drinking water that contains minerals, preferably natural minerals from spring water. And preferably consumed from glass containers because you don't want the particulates from a metal container. You really, really don't want any particulates from plastic containers going into your system.
Ideally, you drink two quarts a day of mineralized water from a glass bottle. You can add a pinch of sea salt for more minerals in your water, which can sometimes help your bowels. Why do we need the minerals from water?
Because minerals feed our adrenals, salt in particular. Salt cravings can be an indicator of tired, hungry adrenal glands. Some people require more salt than others, but the point is, what kind of salt are you using? Iodized and heated salt like Morton’s and many other brands of processed boxed salts are demineralized, bleached, and basically dead.
Our body does not recognize this processed salt as food, and dead salt does not balance your adrenal glands. Sea salt, Himalayan salt, untreated salt from clean water sources is what our bodies recognize as beneficial and utilize to feed our cells.
ADRENALINE When you eat enough salt, and get enough sleep, your adrenals begin to recover. Then they’re able to produce sufficient adrenaline to help you poop. Have you ever felt a rush of heat from your low back up your spin after a complete bowel movement? That’s your adrenal glands making their contribution to a happy day.
FIBER You need adequate amounts of fiber in order to have a good bowel movement. Ultimately, what that bowel is squeezing through is indigestible fiber. If you're not eating enough indigestible fiber, then there's nothing for the bowel to form itself around to squeeze. Sometimes when people do colon cleanses they add a lot of indigestible fiber known as psyllium husk to their regime, in order to give the colon something to squeeze around to initiate more and stronger contractions of the smooth muscle of the colon. That tones the smooth muscle and improves its function to be more regular with a reduced transit time.
Different kinds of people need different kinds of fiber to poop their best. Some people do well with raw food, some people require cooked food in order to promote their best intestinal function. We can talk about Ayurveda and the kinds of foods that feed different Ayurvedic types best.
FIBER AND CONSTITUTIONAL TYPES: PITTA
If you're Pitta (somebody who tends to run hot), you do better with cooler sources of fiber, like raw salads, raw kale, raw arugula, raw spinach, that kind of thing. Salads help cool a pitta constitution and provide the kind of fiber that primes the large intestine to move easily.
If you have a Kapha constitution (runs cool and needs warming), you need well-cooked vegetables like well-cooked broccoli, well-cooked kale, and other vegetable that are cooked for a longer period of time. In order to balance that cooler constitution, adding some warmth and soothing to the intestines allows the bowels to move more easily.
VATA Someone who’s got a Vata constitution, with a of lot of air as their predominant element, tends to require fattier foods in order to improve their digestion and get their colon to move. Avocados, coconut oil and meat, nut butters, and dairy butter or ghee on their vegetables and grains do the trick. Oilier foods will help calm their digestion and improve the quality of their bowel movements.
OILS & FATS What kind of oil? Good oils mean organic, raw unheated oils, which include nut oils, avocado, almond, walnut oil, hazelnut oil. Preferably raw, not toasted, but cold expeller-pressed raw oils instead, derived from organic sources. Coconut oil is an excellent oil and very beneficial for digestion. It can also be detoxifying.
Animal fats are another source of fats that aid digestion. Lard, tallow, duck fat, schmaltz (chicken fat), and lamb fat. All of these fats are extremely beneficial for gut healing, as long as your gallbladder is working properly, and you can digest them.
Stay away from hydrogenated oils, obviously margarine. By now I hope we all know that vegetable oils that are solid at room temperature are not good for you. Many vegetable oils are highly processed and grown from plants that are heavily pesticided and genetically modified. These include corn oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, and especially canola oil.
When you go to Whole Foods, every product at Whole Foods to-go section contains canola oil. If you read their labels carefully, all of those yummy-looking things in the deli case list it as an ingredient. Canola oil is not even really food. It is derived from a vegetable oil-producing plant that has very little nutritional value and is not good for you. It’s a genetic hybrid that grows in concert with glyphosate, which is at the root of a vast number of inflammatory processes in the body.
Any oil that's been repeatedly heated when you go to a restaurant is not a great choice as far as pooping is concerned. When you get your French fries, you know all those fries are fried in oil heated again and again to the point it's full of trans- fats. That means the oil molecules have changed their conformation and your body doesn't even recognize that trans-fat as food. It ends up really gunking up the works in your digestion.
The take-home about oils is to keep them clean, and raw when possible. Add your oils at the end of cooking, rather than in the cooking process. That’s best for most vegetable oils. You could steam your vegetables first, then add some olive oil on after cooking.
So: water, salt, adrenaline, fiber, and oils and fats are the necessary ingredients for great poops. May the force and fiber be with you, giving you a more satisfying experience next time!