Pure Good Food

Shannon Smuts Brauer

Shannon Smuts Brauer

3 Truths Your Poo is Desperately Trying to Tell You


Be honest with me.

How often do you take a look at your own poo?

I mean, really look?

Word to the wise: if you haven’t been paying your poo attention it deserves, you’re doing it wrong.

The stats speak for themselves: one study in fact found that less than half the population enjoy an optimal poo cycle – i.e. making a number two once every day.

That is not okay.

I recently attended an awesome functional health workshop (more on what I learnt there soon),  and it inspired me to put this unnecessarily taboo topic on the table when it comes to being mindful about the food you use to fuel your body.

Poo Performance Indicator #1: What colour is it?

Healthy poo is always brown, and that’s because of bile.

(Bile = the alkaline fluid your liver produces to help you decompose fats.)

Bile itself is actually green – however, as it passes through your gastrointestinal tract, it gets metabolised by bacteria, and that interaction produces a byproduct called stercobilin, which – you guessed it – is as brown as a biscuit.

The lesson? If your poo is brown, you can sleep easy knowing your small intestine, gallbladder, and liver are all playing nicely together and functioning just fine.

Dealing with a colour that’s not brown?

Use this handy table to find out if you should alert your doctor:

My poop is: Green Yellow Black Grey / white Red
What it might indicate: Food being digested too quickly; an intestinal bug; side-effect of an iron supplement; eating a lot of leafy greens. Gastroesopho-geal reflux disease (GERD) Celiac disease; or potentially a parasite. Bleeding in your upper gastrointestinal tract; a stomach ulcer. A bile duct obstruction; gallstones; a reaction to anti-diarrheal medication. Easily caused by red food and food dyes; also easily caused by bleeding and hemorrhoids.
Cause for concern? If you can’t assign a direct cause and the problem persists, tell your doctor. Yes. Tell your doctor. Yes. Tell your doctor. Yes. Tell your doctor. Unless you ate a tonne of beetroot today, you should probably tell your doctor.


Poo Performance Indicator #2: What does it smell like?

Apparently, our natural aversion to the smell of poo “developed as a biological function to keep us away from infection and disease. (In other words: You smell poop and don’t want to play with it, which keeps you from contracting diseases from other people’s poop.)”

While an excessive, ahem, “aroma” may simply be the result of consuming red wine, coffee, red meat, or cheese; stinky stool can also be an indication of something more serious – so you might want to take a deep breath note of this.

Poo Performance Indicator #3: What does it look and feel like?

I’m not asking you to go stick your hand in the toilet, that is both gross and very un-hygienic. By feel I mean, how does it feel when it, you know, comes out?

How much fibre you include in your diet has a big impact on your personal texture, shape, and consistency. 

Consult the table below and assign yourself a “type” to find out where you score on the optimal stool scale:


Type 3 or 4 is ideal. Types 1 or 2 indicate constipation, and 6 and 7 are classic signs of diarrhea. As will all things – trust your instincts and listen to your body: if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

I hope you were able to find some poo stenchial benefits from this post! I feel this was my doody to share…. 

Here’s wishing all of you a week of more mindful digestion!


Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email