By Megan Murray Feb. 15, 2018
A lot of people today are concerned with keeping their weight in check and most find it hard to do. Could there be something else that helps effect weight gain? Researches are now saying yes. What they are finding is that the 100 trillion tiny microbes that live in your digestive tract have major effects on not just your immune system, digestion and mood, but also your weight.
Mark Hyman, M.D., the director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine says “The gut is connected to everything. If your microbiome is out of whack, i.e., it doesn’t have enough good bacteria or too much bad bacteria, it can affect how your food is metabolized as well as lead to inflammation.” Bad bacteria in the gut causes inflammation and makes your immune system work overtime to get rid of it. This can cause insulin resistance, which can promote weight gain, according to Hyman. Having more good bacteria in out gut helps our body to be able to process food easier. When we are born we have very little bacteria actually but this grows over time. Different things can effet this depending on your environment, what you eat, how you were born along with lifestyle choices. A typical American has an unbalanced gut because of modern-day diet with a ot less bacteria and also an over use of antibiotics and hand sanitizers which wipes out not only the bad bacteria but the microbes needed in our gut to process everything. This is whats causing us to hold on to those extra pounds we just cant kick!
Dont worry though. There are some simple and fast ways to get your gut back on track and shed those pounds.
You want to stay away from processed foods and refined sugar. Studies show both artificial sweeteners and sugar decrease good bacteria levels.
MORE FIBER, INCLUDING PREBIOTICS
Fiber can lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and promote weight loss, says Hyman. Fiber helps you to stay fuller longer. It does this by slowing down the rate food enters into your blood stream and sppeds up how quickly it exits your digestive tract. Here are some great prebiotic fiber sources: Onions, leeks and garlic are great, as well as hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxseed. Also any of these vegetables are high in fiber as well: carrots, beets, broccoli, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, artichokes, potatoes (russet, red, and sweet)
Hyman says its smart to take a probiotic supplement twice a day but you can also find live active cultures in Kefir products, yougurt or fermented foods such as kimchi or miso. “Look for at least 25 billion live CFUs [colony-forming units] from diversified strains of bacteria,” such as lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium when taking supplements, he adds.
GETTING YOUR THYROID CHECKED
Gut sluggishness can also be contributed by low thyroid function as hormones and gut effect one another and how they work notes Raphael Kellman, M.D., an integrative and functional medicine physician and the author of Low thyroid function.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“Within a week of following a gut-friendly diet, you will notice a drop in cravings,” promises Kellman. “And you could be eating the same amount of calories as you were before, but you will lose weight. In fact, you may be able to eat even more.” Taking care of your gut could be the surest route to reaching your healthiest weight.