It’s no secret that poop is one of my most favourite topics to discuss. It is so important that what is going into your body, is coming back out of your body, in an appropriate time frame.
Having regular bowel movements is extremely important for the elimination of toxins. When your body is not expelling these toxins in a timely manner they will begin to circulate back into the blood stream causing toxicity in your body. When your intestines are backed up from lack of bowel movements you begin to manifest a lot more than just gas & bloating. You may experience symptoms such as headaches, skin issues, irritability, restlessness, nausea, brain fog & more.
Your gut is directly linked to your brain via the vagus nerve, what is happening down below will certainly affect what is happening upstairs.
One of the most common questions I get once the poop dialogue is opened is, how do I have better poops? So I have listed my 9 top steps to having better bowel movements which in turn will lead to a much happier, healthier more vibrant you!
- Probiotics– the gods of the digestive tract. Everyone requires a healthy balance of good gut bacteria: PRO-bitiocs. These little microorganisms help to balance out the gut flora leading to many health benefits aside from better poops!
- Healthy Fats– this can include from food and supplements. The best healthy fats come from food sources such as avocados, nuts & seeds (hemp, flax, pumpkin), coconut oil.
- Fibre – This and step 4 will go hand in hand. FIbre is important for bulking up stool and helping to eliminate toxins and anything extra the body does not need; however, overdoing it on fibre and under doing it on H2o can have the opposite effect that you are looking for. Fibre requires water to move itself through the digestive tract smoothly. Foods high in fibre: dark leafy greens, chia seeds, oats, beans.
- H2o– Technically this should be #1 but all these steps are of equal importance and should be taken in conjunction with each other. In order to have a well working digestive tract, the body needs to be hydrated. This is so nothing gets stuck, and can move along smoothly. Just increasing your water intake alone to 2-3 liters a day will make a huge difference in your bowel movements.
- Digestive Enzymes– sometimes the body lacks the specific enzymes necessary to break down certain foods, this then can lead to larger particles of food fermenting in the digestive tract causing gas and bloating and other symptoms. Your digestion starts in your mouth with enzymes in your saliva and then in your stomach. Adding a digestive enzyme to your regimen will help the food start to digest before it hits the digestive tract (where probiotics start to step in). My favourite all natural digestive enzyme is Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother). It assists with breaking down food in the stomach, but also acts as a probiotic as it is fermented. It has many many health benefits that go beyond aiding in great poops.
- Squatting– I don’t mean the daily exercise. I mean literally squatting to take a poop. Essentially elevating your knees above your hips, or your bum below your knees- however you want to look at it. Using a step stool or “squatty potty” while you are on the toilet will encourage ease of elimination. Check out your nearest dollar store for a fold up easy to store stool, you won’t regret it!
- Movement– being active and activating the core muscles will encourage peristalsis in the digestive tract which will in turn help move things along. Yoga is an excellent practice for helping with bowel movements as the combination of breath and movement deep into the belly work with your digestive system. Poses that include twists are especially beneficial.
- Breathe – this sort of goes with my last point, but is on it’s own in that you can be sitting absolutely still no matter where you are and take deep belly breaths to encourage better bowel function. As you inhale deep cleansing breaths through your nose, envision your breath pressing down into your pelvic floor muscles, feeling your belly expand. This encourages relaxation in your body especially in the digestive tract. Stress alone can cause contraction of the belly muscles, not allowing you to release when you need to. Take some deep breaths and allow yourself to Just Let Go (maybe closer to a bathroom) J
- Lemon Water– first thing in the am. Before you do anything else, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm or room temperature water. This will automatically kick start your digestive system & get peristalsis going. It is also mildly detoxifying which is completely necessary if you have got any toxins backing up down there.
So there you have it, 9 easy ways to start having better poops. If you have any concerns about your bowel movements I strongly encourage looking into it as your stool can say a lot about what is going on internally.
If you have any questions or interested in working one on one for a more customized approach to your bowel issues, or anything else, please contact me:
Love, Light & healthy pooping!
Janine Fournier- RHN, RYT