The gut flora or microbiome is essential for proper digestion. The thing is the beneficial microbes that populate our digestive tract play an important role in our metabolism as they can dictate how hungry we are, what we crave, what we eat, and how many calories we extract from the food we are consuming. It’s these microbes that also spur the unhealthy cravings.
By eating certain types of fiber called prebiotics, our microbiome takes vital part in creating healthy fat genes. These prebiotics actually form short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which reduce our inherited predisposition to weight gain.
Not many know that there are about 100 trillion gut bacteria (or 5-6 pounds in our belly), which is 10 times higher than the number of human cells. These 100 trillion bacteria send out chemical messages to the brain, which affects not just our appetite, but also our overall health and mood.
Research has found that lean people have more gut bacteria and a more diverse microbiota than people who are overweight or obese because an imbalance of gut bacteria not only leads to low-grade inflammation in your body, but also triggers weight gain, obesity, and inability to lose weight.
Luckily, you should also know that gut flora responds very quickly to dietary changes. By eating the types of food healthy gut bacteria feed and thrive on, you can take control of your weight.
What you need to do is add 1-3 servings a day of the right prebiotic (foods that beneficial bacteria feed on) and/or probiotic foods (foods that contain beneficial bacteria). This will feed and support your gut flora and help you get rid of those carb carvings we are all too familiar with. On the plus side, you’ll be increasing your weight loss results.
1. Top 10 prebiotic foods that promote weight loss:
- Raw garlic
- Raw leeks
- Raw asparagus
- Raw dandelion greens
- Raw or cooked onion
- Jerusalem artichokes
2. Top 10 probiotic foods that promote weight loss:
- Kombucha (effervescent cultured drink)
- Kefir (fermented milk drink)
- Yogurt (without sugar)
- Nondairy coconut yogurt
- Cheese made from raw milk
- Lassi (Indian yogurt drink)
- Sauerkraut (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Pickles (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Cultured veggies (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Natto (fermented soy)
- Kimchi (spicy Korean condiment)
Providing you have a healthy intake of probiotics, you’ll keep your gut flora well-nurtured and in balance, which ultimately leads to healthy weight loss and good overall health.