Perfect Poop: A Realistic Meal Guide To Get You Going Again
7 minute read
Here is something you probably didn't know; digestion starts in the mind. How is it possible that a process involving your stomach and intestines starts in your head? Your mood affects what you eat, as well as how your digestive system works. When you are stressed, you tend to eat more comfort foods and, at the same time, the elevated cortisol levels will slow down digestion.
The fight or flight response initiated when we are stressed requires a great deal of energy, so processes not necessary to fighting or fleeing are shut down. This includes digestion. Your body does not know the difference between a real threat and anxiety or perceived threats, so the outcome is the same.
Even if you are feeling overwhelmed at work, there is no actual threat but cortisol levels increase all the same. Whatever food you consume will not be processed effectively, therefore causing you to miss out on vital nutrients and minerals.
The Digestive System
If you are in this zone, here are many lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your routine to help get those numbers back into a normal range. And the best part is that you can do it without taking any drugs.
While your mind essentially controls the whole system or in the very least guides it, the physical organs involved include your mouth, stomach and intestines. Your mouth is where most of the digestive process occurs, with the initial breakdown of food by saliva and the elimination of bacteria. The more you chew, the better your food is broken down, which will allow for easier digestion in the stomach.
| Related: Probiotics & Digestive Enzyme Work Together |
No Two Poops Are the Same
Even when you are the most regular person, the waste contents you produce will vary every day. For the most part, people do not give much thought to their bowel movements, unless something is irregular. The truth is that the shape, size and smell of your poop can tell you a great deal about your health. Centuries ago, the examination of poop was done alongside face, skin, hair and teeth to determine a person's physical and emotional health.
Learning what to look for can help you stay ahead of the health curve. Digestive disorders are easy to detect by looking at your poop. The signs of a healthy digestive system include:
♦ Stools are well shaped and consistent contour (log-shape)
♦ Easily passed stools
♦ Light brown color of feces
♦ Neutral or natural smell, nothing noticeably fowl
♦ Poop that floats and flushes easily
On the contrary things to watch out for that indicate an unhappy digestive tract include bloating, gas, headaches, reflux, burping after meals, irregularity, fatigue after eating, skin problems, joint and muscle aches and abdominal distension.
Causes of Poor Digestion
Dehydration is a common problem for poor digestion. Water is essential to our overall function and every process within our body. In the digestive system, a lack of water means less digestive fluids such as saliva and stomach acid. Processed food is another contributor to an unhealthy gut.
When food is processed, it is not recognized by your gut and the immune system registers the food as foreign. Processed food is loaded with toxins and chemicals that may be harmful, even in small amounts. There is no way to be healthy when you eat any amount of processed food.
An ailment known as toxic colon can occur in less efficient digestive systems. The main culprit is constipation. When your intestines become backed up with waste, toxicity occurs. Your body tries to eliminate the leftover components of your food for a reason. Impacted waste is not healthy.
Stress also complicates digestion due to its activation of the nervous system. Digestion is stalled when we are in fight or flight mode. If this happens on a continual basis, it is dangerous for the health of your stomach and colon.
Diary of a Healthy Poop
It is completely possible to turn your digestive system around. If you are noticing signs of an unhealthy digestive tract, think of switching up your routine. Changes in the diet are usually a good place to start. You can cleanse and restart your gut in just one week.
Monday: Eat bitter foods such as lemon juice and grapefruit to break down foods and allow for better digestion.
Tuesday: Take a broad spectrum digestive enzyme supplement before each meal. Increasing enzymes in the body helps to break food down into smaller units for easier absorption.
Wednesday: Eat probiotic foods like yogurt. Increasing the bacterial count in your gut helps with digestion as well as supporting the immune system.
| Related: The Importance of a Plant-Based Digestive Enzyme Supplement |
Thursday: Eat plenty of fiber such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables. Soluble fiber such as oats, brown rice, and legumes are also beneficial.
Friday: Drink unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Add it to water or a salad dressing to help with common digestive problems such as gas and bloating.
Saturday: Eat prebiotics which are non-digestible fibers that help intestinal bacteria to flourish. Foods rich in prebiotics include bananas, whole wheat, artichokes, garlic, tomatoes, legumes and green vegetables.
Sunday: Drink 25ml of aloe juice before each meal. The cleansing effect it has on the bowels helps to maintain healthy digestive function.
What You Need to Be Doing
Following the four simple steps below will help your digestive system to stay on track. Ideally, once you cleanse everything, you can start over with a new diet and a new routine.
♦ Space your meals or snacks every 3 to 4 hours. This allows each meal to be fully digested and fuels your metabolism, which prevents cravings and binge eating.
♦ Drink water often to help everything flow smoothly. A glass first thing in the morning is always the best way to start the day.
♦ Combine proteins (eggs, fish, and meats) with fiber (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) in a meal. When eaten together, digestion takes longer so you feel more satisfied.
♦ Get up and move around. The more active you are, the more calories you will require so be sure you are eating enough. Additionally, staying active keeps digestion flowing.
The Bottom Line
While no two poops are the same, the characteristics of your poop are a good indicator of your health. There are numerous causes of poor digestion but it's never too late to get your digestive system back on track. Follow a week-long healing regimen with tips to keep your system moving smoothly.
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