It might feel a bit weird, but looking at your poop occasionally is a good habit.
It can help you gauge how well your body is working.
Something that happens to a lot of vegans is that they look down one day and see green poop (stool).
The good news is that it’s generally not something to be worried about, and is usually just a one or two time occurance.
If it happens a lot, you should go see a doctor.
So why does it happen?
There are generally 2 causes.
Reason #1 – You’ve Been Eating a Lot of Vegetables With Green Pigment
The Mayo Clinic actually has an entry for green stool, where they explain the the most common cause is something you ate.
Something with a lot of green pigment, like spinach or kale, for example.
In small amounts, they won’t turn your poop green, but if you’ve recently had an exceptionally large amount, that’s likely the cause.
It may also depend on how you prepare them, as cooking can cause greens like kale to lose nutrients. I’m not exactly sure how that would affect your poop color, but it seems like it could.
It’s not like it’s bad for you, but you probably want to dial back on the leafy greens a bit.
Having poop that is a greenish color can be caused by simply eating a lot of leafy greens, which is harmless. If the green color persists for days, or you’re not eating an abnormal amount of greens, then you should see a doctor.
Reason #2 – You’re Not Absorbing Nutrients From Food
This may be cause for concern.
Malabsorption is a digestive disorder that could be indicative of a serious problem, and can cause green stool.
When food passes through your digestive system too quickly, your bile doesn’t break down as it should, which passes the green color on to your stool.
If this is the case, there’s a good chance that you also suffered from diarrhea (although diarrhea is sometimes experienced by new vegans for other reasons).
Is this a serious concern?
That’s the tricky part. Several things can cause this, and some are serious, while others aren’t.
If you just ate some contaminated or expired food, you’re likely fine, and this won’t be a reoccurring issue.
However, if you have malabsorption from any other cause, it could cause you to become deficient in other nutrients (vitamins, minerals, essential fats) and cause serious harm.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to be on the safe side and see a doctor if you feel sick.
If you regularly have green poop, it could be caused by a malabsorption issue that could be a serious health risk. Go see a doctor; they can do stool and blood tests to test for deficiencies or other conditions if they are concerned for any reason.
Overall, vegans are at more risk of harmless green poop because we tend to eat a lot of green vegetables.
This is particularly common among new vegans who haven’t quite figured out what to eat other than a lot of vegetables.
However, if you feel any sickness, or the green poop carries on for multiple days, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.