a layout of a bathroom

Let’s Talk About Stool

 This may be a funny subject, but pooping is a natural occurrence and can be talked about for a better understanding.  

Now, if you haven’t seen or have had green stool before it can be alarming. So, what does it mean? Typically, green stool means that your body is correctly doing its job. But, if your stool is green and you feel that something is wrong, consult with your doctor to get it checked out.

In general, stool should be light-to-medium brown in color, but even if your stool is a light green color, it can be considered “normal”. There are many reasons that influence the color of your stool. So, let us talk about them.

What Is Stool Exactly?

How it’s made:

When you consume foods and beverages and enters your stomach, your digestive system starts breaking them down. With the help of bile in your stomach it breaks down the products you’ve consumed and excretes the nutrients.

These broken down products then move into your small intestine. The intestinal walls go to work by absorbing water and the rest of the nutrients into your bloodstream. The next stop is your large intestine, where the rest of the undigested food is changed into stool. The stool will move into the bowel, where it will stay until you have a bowel movement.

A simple way to put it is that poop is a combination of bile (yellow -green fluid produced by the liver) to digest the fats and what you ate.

A more complex way to put it is that stool is composed of inorganic materials like (iron phosphates and calcium phosphate) and organic materials like (protein, bile, water, cellulose, and water).

Your stool also contains cholesterol and dead bacteria. During the digestion process it accumulates the brown color. In the liver, a substance called bilirubin is formed containing red blood cells and is orange-yellow in color. When bile, bilirubin and other waste substances mixes together, the resulting stool color is usually a shade of brown.

What about the smell? The odor comes from an abundance of chemicals produced by bacteria such as hydrogen sulfide.

You Are What You Eat

Green poop doesn’t just occur due to different actions in your digestive system. What you consume, has a direct impact on the color of your waste production. So, if you’re finding that you’re regularly producing green stool it all depends on what you’re eating and how much of it are you eating.

colorful mix of types of lettuceGreen Leafy Vegetables

Green foods can have a big influence on your green stool color. No surprise there. Dark green leafy vegetables are high in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is responsible for making the green pigment in plants. So, the more dark green leafy vegetables you consume, the more likely your poop will turn out green.  Some examples of high-chlorophyll plants are kale, spinach, chard, collard greens and arugula.

If you’re eating a plentiful amount of dark leafy green vegetables, then you don’t need to worry about your stool turning out dark green.

Food Dyes

Food dyes are in many food and drink products and can be responsible for your green stool. Candy, sodas, sugary drinks are filled with food dyes. But, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Other products such as yogurt and pickles may contain food dyes. Farm-raised salmon also contains food dyes to make it look “pinker” and looks more appetizing to the consumer.

Food dyes don’t fully get absorbed through your body and when you eat products with food dyes they end up in your waste products. Many of these dyes in our food and beverages are man-made. They aren’t naturally occurring in plants, fruits, and vegetables.

barista pouring a cup of coffeeCoffee and Alcohol

Coffee and alcohol are both considered laxatives and can affect the way your body digests food. Both of these substances speed up your digestion which means the process isn’t always completed. When this occurs, your stool doesn’t have time to form and can result in loose and green stool.

Diet Change

If you have recently changed your diet, the higher chance your stool will appear greener than you’re used to.  If you’ve recently started to eat more plant-based products such as green leafy vegetables, it’s more likely your poop will become greener.

If you are consuming a high-fat diet such as ketogenic diet, you will produce more bile to break down the fatty foods. By creating more bile (yellow-green fluid), it is more likely to stay in your stool and will be noticed when it’s time to go to the bathroom.

In Summary

There are many ways and variations as to why your body will produce green stool. By paying attention to what you’re consuming and how much you’re eating, you’ll have a better idea whether or not your green stool is normal. If you don’t believe it’s normal, then you should speak to your doctor.




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