‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fast Track Your Faeces

An action few can discuss without a giggle, a blush, or a joke... When my friend's husband, with a cheesy grin and red face, sheepishly broached the subject with me (right after dinner at a restaurant), my, perhaps too enthusiastic of a response was: "don't be shy, bowel dialogue with patients is mandatory, nothing you say can possibly perturb me on this subject". So there begun a discussion about fibre and faeces (yes, I'm spelling them the Australian way). If you're squirming already, or weak of stomach, hold your breath and strap yourself in coz there's more toilet humour ahead.

Fibre: It's the stuff found in plant cell walls that human bodies can't digest. It's the stuff that helps keep us regular (in the pooping department). And it's all around awesome stuff.

To answer my friend's first question: What is regular for me, might be different to what's regular for you. Some people's regular is once a day, some twice a day, some once every two days. That's fine. If you're going less than three times a week, your usual habits change, or it's painful to go, this could mean constipation (gosh darn, I said it and the sky didn't fall).

As for my friend's next question: If you want to put your faeces in the fast lane, a good place to start is with fibre. And I'm not talking about fibre supplements, I'm talking about the real stuff. Here are some foods that'll really get you in on the poop parade:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
A few important things to remember:
  • Increase the fibre in your diet slowly (gas and bloating can occur if you go from zero to hero too quickly, give your gut bacteria time to adjust)
  • Fibre slows stomach emptying which helps keep you feeling full for longer (two enthusiastic thumbs up)
  • The above foods are high in fibre whilst simultaneously high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats
  • Fibre attracts water inside your gut. To ensure your excrement is expedited, drink plenty of water
  • Physical activity is another important aspect for convenient colon clearing (1, 2)
  • Fiber, fluid and physical activity together can help reduce constipation
What about packaged, manufactured products claiming they are high in fibre? So is a cardboard box... Do your due diligence and read the label. Adding extra vegetables and legumes to meals and soups, snacking on fruit, and buying whole grain products like bread, crackers, cereal, etc are economical ways to boost the fibre in your diet.

I do hope this has unclogged and cleared up a few everyday queries people may have about their bowels. Finally, I leave you with this hope: May the force not be with you.

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