Losing weight is on the list of priorities for quite a few people, including maybe even you, the reader! The usual approach that many of us take when it comes to losing weight is to get our diets in order, sign up for a gym membership, incorporate other forms of exercise in our daily routines and, of course, add certain ‘miracle’ foods to our daily intake, etc.
However, we do tend to miss out on a very important aspect of losing weight and overall wellness, and that is our gut bacteria.
An excess of 100 trillion microbial cells exist in the human gut and play an important role in the regulation of metabolism in the body. If the balance of the gut bacteria ecosystem (gut microbiota) is damaged, it can lead to certain diseases and disorders. Both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of gut bacteria exist in the body and are responsible for varying effects on it (1).
Studies have shown a correlation between instances of obesity and a haywire gut bacteria ecosystem (2). When there’s an excess of ‘bad’ gut bacteria (such as Firmicutes) and a shortage of the ‘good’ gut bacteria (such as Bacteroidetes), it can result in weight gain/obesity, while also making way for other diseases.
It is thus important to ensure that a healthy balance of gut bacteria is maintained for optimal health and today we’re going to talk about how you can do just that!
1. Consume Fermented Foods
2. Probiotic Supplementation
The term ‘probiotic’ in itself is self-explanatory when it comes to its effects on the gut bacteria ecosystem. Probiotics have been a part of the human diet for about as long as civilization has been around and their health effects have now been scientifically proven as well.
3. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
Gut bacteria are living organisms and thus need to feed themselves to survive and grow. Research has shown that cruciferous (belonging to the cabbage family) vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage contain certain compounds that help feed gut bacteria (7).
Also, fruits that contain dietary fiber can help with the growth of gut bacteria as well (8). Dietary fiber is known for its anti-obesity properties and with the dual effect of it helping gut bacteria as well, there’s no reason for you not to include it in your diet (9).
4. Avoid ‘Bad’ Oils
The health benefits of omega-3 fish oils are widely known. Having omega-3 fish oils be a part of your diet can benefit your skin, hair, and heart health greatly (10). However, when it comes to gut bacteria, a diet rich in omega-3 can have a detrimental effect.
A study has shown that ‘bad’ gut bacteria, Firmicutes increased and ‘good’ gut bacteria, Bacteroidetesdecreased as a result of a diet rich in omega-3 (11). Therefore, even though omega-3s are important for ensuring optimal health, some moderation should be exercised to avoid killing off good gut bacteria.
5. Consume ‘Good Oils’
An important part of maintaining the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut is to ensure that the ‘bad’ bacteria, and even yeast, is kept in check as well. For this purpose, one of the best natural remedies is Coconut Oil.
Coconut oil can help reduce the ‘Candida albicans’ yeast in the human gut, which can cause a variety of health issues and infections in the body, with a mortality rate of more than 40% (12). Consumption of coconut oil is a natural, drug-free way of reducing the instance of the yeast.
A healthy gut bacteria ecosystem is essential to facilitate proper digestion and ensure weight loss. Make sure you keep in mind all the information provided herein and take care of not only your dietary and exercise regimes but also your gut that processes it all. Nevertheless, always remember to discuss any changes in daily regimens, especially if you happen to be on prescription medication, with your health care provider. Best of luck!