So a healthy poop is not something mentioned in polite conversation; however, it’s very important to examine your bowel movements because they say a lot about your health. By not paying attention to your body, you can miss the early warning signs of illness or disease.
What Actually Is Poop?
Human feces, or poop, is basically the remains of food that could not be digested or absorbed by the small intestine but has been broken down by the bacteria in the large intestine. It contains bacteria and metabolic waste products.
Another interesting fact is that the colon is positioned differently in men and women! A woman’s colon hangs a little bit lower than a man’s. It’s also a fact that women are more prone to bloating since it’s more challenging for them to make the passage of stool, as it takes longer to transit through their bodies. These anatomical differences are significant enough that physicians say they can perform a colonoscopy and guess the patient’s gender based on the position of the colon.
What Should Healthy Poop Look Like?
The look of your stool depends on various factors such as genetics, dietary habits, proper hydration, medications, as well as any underlying health conditions. With that said, the Bristol Stool Form Scale is used by physicians to classify the types of stools into seven categories. Let’s take a closer look at what these categories are:
1. Separated, hard lumps that are hard to pass and they indicate constipation
2. Sausage-shaped, but covered in lumps, and it also indicates constipation
3. Almost sausage-shaped, but with cracks on the surface and it’s the most ideal type
4. Exactly like a sausage, with the smooth top, and it’s also considered ideal
5. Soft blobs with clear edges that are passed easily, and along with the next too indicate diarrhea
6. Fluffy pieces with weird edges, almost cereal-like stool
7. Watery, without solid pieces, entirely liquid
Can you guess which category is the best? Number four is considered the healthiest, although number three isn’t very far away from it. Falling right in the middle of the scale means the healthiest digestion. Going further away from the middle means there are some underlying issues, so let’s take a closer look at what those might be.
To have a healthy poop consistently, you should be eating a diet rich in fiber. Foods that are rich in fiber include fruits, veggies, and legumes. If necessary, you can always use supplements such as psyllium or probiotics. An inadequate diet can lead to a myriad of digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, etc. and no one wants that.