What Does Green Poop Mean?

Green poop can be a common enough occurrence. Patients are advised to consult a doctor if they notice unusual stool color along with severe symptoms.

A pile of Green leafy vegetables on a white background

Green poop can be a common enough occurrence if the individual is eating enough green leafy vegetables which are full of chlorophyll or food items that contain food coloring that is either blue, purple, and green. It can also be due to other conditions that contribute to loose stools and the development of diarrhea.

Normally, stool or feces is usually colored brown and sometimes, a green-colored stool can be expected. Patients are advised to see their healthcare provider or doctor if they notice any other unusual stool color together with other symptoms such as pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and fever.

What Are The Possible Reasons For Having Green Poop?

As stated earlier in the article, green poop can be a common occurrence for most individuals. However, excessive fecal matter that is colored green may have specific possible causes. Listed below are some of the possible reason why poop may be colored green:

1. Green Foods may result in green feces or poop

Green foods can quite simply be caused by eating foods that colored green. These green-colored foods usually are in the form of green veggies such as watercress, arugula, beet greens, bok choy, Swiss chard, broccoli, kale, and spinach. Having green poop because of these consumed items does not indicate any real adverse or negative symptom and may simply mean that the food items or veggies consumed contain high amounts of chlorophyll, a substance that lends plants their green color.

Almost all green plants and veggies are universally rich in chlorophyll. Vegetables or plant-based products that are rich in chlorophyll and can, therefore, result in green colored feces include green grapes, jalapenos, kiwi, honeydew, green apples, avocados, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, sprouts, asparagus, peas, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, sugar peas, celery and green beans.

Small servings of the abovementioned food products may not result in any significant stool color changes but taking increased levels or amounts of servings may result in a significantly green colored stool. These can usually be achieved by consuming or ingesting food items such as guacamole, large servings of salads, pureed salads, juices, shakes, and smoothies.

Another popular ingredient in milk tea, Matcha, can give stool a significantly increased green color. Food items that also contain food coloring that is green, yellow or even blue can color an individual’s feces or poop green. Usually, these food coloring dyes are used in different food products such as desserts, cookie icing, cakes, beverages, salad dressing, jarred pickles, candies, breakfast cereals, green beer, and green peas in a can.

2. Blue and Purple Foods can also turn an individual’s poop or feces green

Surprising as it may seem, but blue and purple food items can also turn a person’s poop or feces green. Examples of these food products include red wine, grapes, and blueberries. Red, blue and purple food coloring can also lead to green stool color. Food and beverages that contain the said food coloring agents include Pedialyte that is grape flavored, licorice, packaged fruit snacks, Gatorade that is colored blue or blue bolt flavor, the icing on a cake, ice pops and Kool-Aid or soda that is grape flavored. Notably, these food colors are most frequently used during holiday menu items especially during Halloween, Independence Day and Easter.

3. Alcohol, coffee, and spicy food items can also contribute to having green feces

The regular movement of bile from the small intestine to the large intestine can produce normal transitioning of colors of the stool from green then yellow before settling on the color brown. When individuals consume certain food items and beverages such as alcohol, coffee, and spicy foods, there is a possibility of decreased transit time for stools which means that the bile combined with digested food was not given enough time to transition from its original green color to the more familiar brown. This decreased time for stool transport is due to the laxative effect of the aforementioned food items.

4. Taking certain vitamins, medications and supplements can result in green poop or feces

Iron supplementation has been known to lend feces or stool a dark green shade. There are also other medications and herbal supplements that can cause an individual’s poop or feces green and these include fiber supplements like fiber, rhubarb, cascara sagrada, and Senna; Nutritional supplements like chlorophyll, blue-green algae, chlorella, barley grass, spirulina, wheatgrass, and green tea, yerba tea; and other medication like antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, sertraline, escitalopram, and metformin.

5. Special Diets can also result in green stool or feces for individuals

Those who are on a vegan or vegetarian diet and are consequently consuming more green leafy vegetables may naturally have a stool that colored green. Individuals who are also on a juice cleanse or “juicing” may also experience green stool or feces. These kinds of cleansing diets will usually result in green stools or poop as colon cleansing will usually result in “clean” food items going through the digestive rather quickly limiting the capability of bacteria to render poop of feces its brown color. High-fat diets on the other hand, just like the ketogenic diet may give poop or stool a bright greens shade as the digestion of these fats will require the additional development or excretion of digestive bile.

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