How Your Gut Bacteria Can Help with Weight Loss! We have all heard that probiotics are good for you, but do you know why? Probiotics are the “good” bacteria which add to the diversity of your gut microbiome. Today we will talk about probiotic food sources, the importance of prebiotics, and the role that both of these play in overall gut health and weight loss.
Understanding Gut Bacteria
We have ~ 100 trillion bacteria inside of our digestive systems referred to as the “gut microbiota.” These bacteria break down and digest nutrients from food and medications. They also provide a protective barrier from intestinal infections and produce vitamin K, which helps produce blood-clotting proteins. The gut bacteria also help to make the chemicals that make you feel full.
We recommend including two different probiotic sources two times a day to make sure you are getting a good variety of bacteria. If you have a hard time reaching that amount, then it may be a good time to look into a supplement.
Once you have increased the diversity of bacteria in your gut, it is important to make sure those good bacteria are well fed. This is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics act as the food for probiotics and help those good bacteria flourish. Check out the list at the bottom for prebiotic and probiotic foods to incorporate. The best thing to do is include a variety of these foods in your diet and switch it up and much as possible. For example, different brands of yogurt or kombucha will have different strains of probiotic bacteria. Different colors of fruits and vegetables will also have different nutrients.
How Improved Gut Health Leads to Improved Weight Loss:
Improving overall gut health typically involves making beneficial dietary changes which can lead to weight loss. Doing things such as eating whole, unprocessed, and unrefined foods can improve gut health and help with weight loss.
Your gut bacteria helps to produce hormones that your stomach sends to your brain to tell you whether you feel hungry or full. Due to the effect that your gut bacteria have on your hormones, improving gut health can improve our ability to feel hunger and fullness cues which is helpful with weight loss.
Gut bacteria also affects inflammation in your body. Certain gut bacteria cause inflammation which may contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance. However, there are other bacteria that may reduce inflammation and prevent weight gain.
Tips for Having a Healthy Gut
Don’t overuse antibiotics, as they can deplete the good bacteria, only use them as a last resort
Eat more fiber, this can improve immune function and reduce inflammation/chronic disease
Exercise, but not too much, over exercising puts a lot of stress on the body and the gut
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night
Practice healthy ways to manage your stress (exercise, meditation, journaling, etc.)
Supplement smartly, if you are not achieving them through food in your diet
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