We are constantly trying to find out how to get and stay thin, yes (dieting!). We spend billions of $ on fitness and diet products searching for the cure for obesity. Many blame genes, poor eating habits and a sedentary life style, which definitely have a contributing factor, but there is another area to look at that many have been overseen in the past; the intestinal bacteria we have in our gut, your “micro biome”!
A new study completed on microbial bacteria in our gut shows that it may play a key role in breaking down and eliminating fat, balancing our hunger hormones, and keeping our glucose levels in check. This all then plays huge roll into having an effect on your bodyweight. Without the right bacteria doing what they do best in our gut, we could be battling obesity; but we are losing the battle!
Good Bacteria in the Gut
Our body is full of tiny microorganisms that work in miraculous ways on our overall health. The largest concentration hangs out in our large intestine, or the colon. These little microbes vary widely in their type and what roles they undertake in your body . According to this new study done on intestinal bacteria, the more diverse the microbes are in the person’s gut, the lower their body weight, and body fat %. Those with fewer amounts or kinds of bacteria were more aligned to obesity. This study also proved that by introducing new bacteria to the gut, you can reverse the effect and lose weight. This is awesome isn’t it?
The bacteria in your gut communicates directly with your brain sending messages of satiety and hunger control, insulin response, and gastric emptying. So this once again affirms to us all that what you eat really does effect your mind!
It’s no surprise that the types of bacteria you have in your gut is closely tied to your diet. People who regularly eat processed foods will have less healthy bacteria in their large intestine, slowing their ability to process food as energy and causing them to gain weight. The Western style diet, including a diet high in fat and refined carbs and low in fiber, can interrupt any development of healthy bacteria in the gut. Now this is not grand at all! Recall: Let Mother Natures Pharmacy assist you with food being thy medicine!
Another determining factor would have little to do with choices one makes. These factors include the choices that parents make. A study showed that children born of a C-section had significantly higher chances of becoming obese because of the lack of traveling through the birth canal where the baby would have swallowed bacteria from the mother. This bacteria would later become a wealth of microbes in the gut keeping that person lean. Breastfed babies will also have more obesity fighting microbes in their stomach from the mother’s milk as opposed to formula fed babies. The lack of these bacteria in babies bodies not only make them more susceptible to obesity but also to asthma, allergies, and eczema.
Good bacteria in the gut:
Antibiotics used in children are also considered a reason many grow up with a lack of good bacteria in the gut. These antibiotics that are prescribed usually for an infection of some kind, kill the bad bacteria as well as the good. A study showed that the amount of prescribed antibiotics to children directly coincided with obesity percentages in the area.
Antibiotics can also be ingested through meat from cattle or other animals treated with antibiotics. Eating plenty of these meats or being over-prescribed with antibiotics can lead to a disbyosis of the gut(leaky gut), or a dysfunctional gut microbial environment. This can make the body better at extracting energy from food, so even when you cut back on your caloric intake, you can still put on weight. The metabolism is slowed and weight gain increases. Scary really isn’t it? Again, its always about the “choices” we make!
Inflammation in the Gut
Eating the Western diet, which effects your gut bacteria negatively, will also cause inflammation in the gut which will inevitably cause a chain reaction of a more negative bacterial flora in the gut. This will also lead to more stored body-fat, weight gain, and insulin resistance :-( .
Inflammation in the body is also known for causing not only incredibly easy weight gain but also type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, dementia, and cardiovascular problems, depression, arthritis and the list just gets larger.
Ways to Enrich Your Microbial Power
Just as our diet can cause a lack of healthy bacteria in our gut, we can effectively reestablish a diverse environment of microbial flora in our digestive system by changing the way we re-fuel our bodies. Yes, it might be cheaper and more convenient to eat a crappy Western style diet full of refined sugar ladened carbohydrates, bursting with trans fats and in those deep fried foods and pastries, and not to mention those fibre poor lifeless calorie bombs we call “soft drinks”. Investing in these “things” will only lead to destroying your micro-biome!
So what else can you do to support the “most underrated organ in the human body – the gut”?
There are probiotics in a capsule form, which may work, but the absolute best way to get your microbial count up in your gut is by eating foods that provide natural probiotics and foods known as prebiotics, setting up the stomach to absorb the probiotics. These foods include fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt as probiotics, and asparagus, garlic, beets, beans, pumpernickel just to name a small few, as prebiotics. Eating a diet rich in these foods and cutting way back on HI (human interfered with) fatty and sugary ladened carbohydrates and processed stuff will assist in creating a gut health that will support a rewiring and supporting of an effective metabolism, leading to weight loss and fat loss!
There are many probiotics that are mainstays in different cultures around the world. Here are a few for you to look at investing in: Remember: Diversity is the key!
Miso soup has been used in Japan to help regulate the digestive system. It is traditionally made from fermented beans but can also be made from fermented rice, barley, or rye.
Kefir is a popular drink in India made from fermented grains and goat’s milk. It can be found in Indian restaurants with different flavorings like mango and strawberry. It can also be found in many international grocery stores.
Kombucha is fermented tea that is made from mushrooms. Its origins are unknown. The Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian all have their own versions but it has grown in popularity in the US and can be bought bottled in most major grocery chains.
Tempeh is a grain of fermented soy. It is a great choice for vegetarians to get their probiotics.
Poi comes from Hawaii and is made from smashed taro root. Even though poi isn’t considered a probiotic per se, it still contains a high amount of healthy bacteria. Unfortunately you can’t get this anywhere but in Hawaii or in a Hawaiian’s home.
Microalgea is basically ocean algae bought in a powder form or a pill and include spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae.
I hope this article has again assisted you in contemplating a drastic lifestyle change that will undoubtably assist you in your successful fat loss and weight loss journey. More importantly not only will a change with what sits on your fork lead to this body composition change, it will also improve your health and wellbeing exponentially!
A win – win really, wouldn’t you agree?