Let's Talk Bowel Movements - FoodByMaria Recipes


Let’s Talk Bowel Movements

I know it’s not a topic a lot of us, or any of us, really talk about but why not? It’s important and we all do it. So lets talk about our bowel movements because they are critical to our health. This post we are going to dive deep into our digestion and bowel movements, and what we can do and eat that is plant-based to improve our digestion.

The facts

First off, lets get real with the facts. SOOOOO many people have issues with their digestion and bowel movements. In fact 25-45 million people in the United States alone suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and 63 million people have issues passing stool and are constipated. That’s not to mention all the other issues that come with poor digestion like acid reflux.

Balancing your pH

So what do we do to solve this problem in our bodies? First off, it’s all about your body’s pH. Your pH levels are different from body to body, however it’s important to have them in tip top shape in order to help with a series of issues in your body you could be facing like digestion.

Food digestion starts in your mouth with your saliva, which is the most active in pH and when this shifts out of the appropriate range of pH your enzyme activity can decrease and food won’t be broken down as easily. Next, your stomach pH is also critical with digestion. Now obviously we’re talking about digestion, but your pH levels can affect all different aspects of your body including your hormone secretion, your energy production and your bone health.

Now you’re probably wondering how on earth you balance and control your pH in your body, and that’s why I’m here to tell you. For starters, eating more alkaline foods is going to make such a difference. The more alkaline in your blood the better and that’s why I constantly stress the power of greens and other alkaline rich foods.


Alkaline rich foods 

Alright, lets talk about some of those alkaline rich plant-based foods that you should be eating every day and week. Eat as many of these as you can a day! I’m not joking. This will blow your mind on how much better you will feel. Keep in mind that this list is in order of strength. Aka the top fruits and vegetables are more rich in alkaline then those at the bottom!

  • Beet greens
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potato
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Kiwi
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Eggplant
  • Pears
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pineapple
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Watermelon

Other amazing plant-based alkalizing foods are avocado, cucumber, lemon, lime, ginger and turmeric. In no particular order.

A lot of people will argue lemon and lime are acidic but they actual alkaline your body once ingested. Be careful though, sometimes if you suffer from acid reflux or anxiety these two fruits may worsen your symptoms, and remember, I am not a doctor, this is just my opinion and some research I’ve done and what’s worked for me!

Digestive enzymes

I take digestive enzymes religiously and they have seriously changed the bowel movement game for me. I used to suffer from bloating post bulimia and I would be constipated for days and always in agony. Obviously now my body is used to digesting food again without throwing it up but digestive enzymes definitely helped get me there and I still use them today.

Digestive enzymes help breakdown the difficult-to-digest proteins and sugars like gluten and can greatly improve symptoms of acid reflux, IBS, etc. These magical enzymes can also enhance nutrition absorption and prevent nutritional deficiency. I take Renew Life – Digest More Ultra Strength as part of my plant-based diet!

Other tips for better digestion

There is also a ton of additional things you can do to get your digestion moving asides from adding some of the above into your diet and daily routine.

  1. Get a good nights sleep! Sleep is so important, you don’t need me to tell you that. However, even though it can be hard to always get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, when I do, my bowel movements are significantly better. Sleep helps your body relax, digest and get ready for tomorrow. Here is a blog post I did on how to sleep better.
  2. Be active! This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every single day but after you eat, get up and move! Otherwise your food will just sit there if you lay around after eating. Things like walking your dog, or doing a light stretch can be great!
  3. Peppermint tea and hot lemon water! Drink one of these after each meal to help get things moving. I also find this really soothes my stomach and eliminates bloating, gas, etc.
  4. Eat slow! You don’t need to be in a hurry when you eat. Chew your food really well before you swallow it to eliminate the stress on your digestive system. When you don’t chew your food well, your insides need to work extra hard to break it down!
  5. Use essential oils! I love essential oils and they have so many fantastic uses. They help before and during bloating, constipation, indigestion, etc. Peppermint, liquorice, fennel, black pepper, roman chamomile, myrrh and sweet fennel are all fantastic oils for blending and creating your own combo! I massage them into my stomach in areas that feel uneasy or have pressure.

Quick facts

  • Don’t just eat greens, yes they’re full of fiber but you need something solid to help push the poop out
  • Take digestive enzymes every damn day, three times a day with meals
  • Other supplements that help with digestion are zinc and magnesium (3omg a day) with food

Now lets get those bowel movements moving in the healthiest of ways! By eating better, adding digestive enzymes and following some of the other facts in here, you’ll be able to feel better, less bloated and not have to worry so much about going to the bathroom, because who wants to worry about that?

Do you have any tips to help with bowel movements? Don’t be shy, share them below in the comments!

Lori Anne

All great ! Another important one stay hydrated! Great work!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes, of course, I drink so much water everyday that I sort of forget some people don’t!

Thanks for the reminder love!

Maria x

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