Our bodies are hosts of trillions of bacterial cells in the gut. The role of gut flora in the digestive and immune systems has long interested researchers. If you've been on a quest to release weight, this will be interesting to you too!
Recent research shows that gut bacteria influence our body weight. The results from these new discoveries could change the way we look at weight loss. (1)
Do you have the “good mix” or the “lousy mix” of gut bacteria?
It turns out that the type of bacteria in your gut can make you thin or fat!
The wrong combination of microbes can set you up for obesity and diabetes. But, the right mix of gut flora helps in maintaining your body weight.
Scientists got an early clue about the link between the gut bacteria and body weight a few years ago. It was evident from a study that compared the gut flora of lean and obese individuals.
Lean people's guts had diverse flora, while those of obese people were less diverse.
They found that a diverse mix of gut flora favored healthy body weight. (1)
Another study looked further into this finding. (2) It found that even when eating the same diet, the type of bacterial mix research subjects have can influence weight.
In this study, gut bacteria taken from obese women and their lean twins were used to populate mice's guts. The two groups of mice in the study ate the same diet in equal amounts.
One set got gut bacteria from an obese twin, the other set from a thin twin.
The mice that received the microbes from the obese twin grew heavier than the mice that got the microbes from the thin twin.
Gut bacteria can also be influenced by conditions like obesity and diabetes. Bad types of gut microbiota can:
- Increase inflammation
- More likelihood of insulin resistance and prediabetes
- Higher risk of diabetes
- Promote weight gain
What does all this mean?
In short, it all boils down to what type of bacteria you have.
If you don't feed the good bacteria what it needs, they're going to die. So, you need to nourish the right bacteria.
You can do this by choosing the right foods that nurture good flora. Prebiotics and probiotics help promote good flora, too.
How can you improve your gut health?
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods
- Include plenty of fiber-rich foods like veggies, grains, sprouted nuts, and seeds
- Replace simple sugars with healthy carbs
- Opt for foods with resistant starch like lentils, beans, and legumes
- Eat probiotic foods — like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt — which encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria
- Add more healthy fats like omega-3's
- Avoid processed vegetable oil such as canola seed oil
- Cut back on refined sugar — bad bacteria thrive on a high-sugar diet
- Avoid or limit the intake of antibiotics
Also, choose organically grown produce or start a home garden. Getting some garden dirt on your hands boosts healthy bacteria population, too.
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Yours in health and happiness,
P.S. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who struggles with digestive issues. I welcome your comments below. Did you realize the bacteria in your gut can impact your weight?