Bacteria are present throughout your body and perform vital protective, structural and metabolic functions. Perhaps the most important bacteria are present in your gut as they support your immune system, support serotonin production and boost energy. There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Together with other microscopic organisms like viruses and fungi, they form your microbiome, which is unique to every individual.
Your gut bacteria can also affect how the food you consume digests, how fat is stored, and how it also produces chemicals that will make you feel full or hungry. In short your gut bacteria composition is linked to weight loss and weight management,
Best Foods & Diet To Follow For Gut Health And Weight Loss
Your gut depends on the right mix or balance of gut bacteria to digest your food properly and to prevent inflammation. There are numerous prebiotic and probiotic foods that contain fat burning microbes and also boost your microbiome and weight loss efforts.
Probiotic foods contain live strains of bacteria that increase the population of good bacteria in your digestive system, while prebiotic foods contain types of fiber that act as food for good bacteria. Both sources of healthy bacteria are designed to increase the number of bacteria in your gut and improve your microbiome.
Here are the best food and diet for gut health and weight loss:
Fermented Foods: Fermentation is a process that uses yeast and bacteria to preserve foods. Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, sourdough, and some cheeses are great sources of probiotics and therefore boost the population of your microbiome's bacteria.
Bananas: These are good sources of the prebiotic fiber called inulin, which helps good bacteria grow. Two bananas a day are enough to boost your bacteria and reduce bloating.
Leafy Greens: Research shows that leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale have a specific type of sugar that stimulates healthy bacteria's growth. They are perfect sources of fiber and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
Whole Grains: For your colon to work at its optimum, it requires at least 25 grams of daily fiber. Unlike other refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, whole grains provide a lot of fiber. The bacteria in your gut are the only ones that can break down fiber. When that happens, it creates acids that protect your gut from harmful bacteria.
Polyphenols: Polyphenols are powerful antioxidant chemicals found in plant-based foods. Some examples are teas, soybeans, chili peppers, sesame seeds, and many others. These prebiotic foods maintain your gut health by moderating the gut's microbial balance.
How Can I Improve My Gut Bacteria Composition To Lose Weight?
Microbiome weight loss is possible and some studies establish the relationship between gut bacteria and weight loss. Therefore, with the right information, suggestions, and tips, you can also improve your gut health and shed some pounds.
Here are some ways:
Get Active: A study has shown that athletes have a special kind of bacteria that may boost their performance. The study showed that athletes, especially marathon runners, had higher levels of bacteria called Veillonella in their guts, especially after completing a race compared to inactive people. While you may not be a professional athlete, a good workout may boost different bacterial strains that will enhance your endurance and help you lose weight.
Reduce Your Stress Levels: Stress can affect your gut health by limiting your body's needs after digestion has taken place. Stress weakens the intestinal barrier and allows gut bacteria to enter your body. While your body's immune system may fight it, it may lead to chronic mild symptoms when it happens constantly. Take some time out for activities or hobbies you enjoy doing, such as reading, yoga, or getting stress-relief massages.
Change Your Diet: Consuming excessive amounts of sugary and processed foods that offer few nutrients to your microbiome may not help you in the long run. Instead, switch up your diet by eating more foods that contain live bacteria and yeast. Instead of foods loaded with sugar, we recommend eating different types of fiber rich foods like beans and legumes, fruits, and probiotic and prebiotic foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Which Are The Best Fat Burning Microbes For Weight Loss?
A study has found that of the trillions of bacteria living in your gut, there may be at least one microbe that might change the way your body's digestion process takes place and affects your weight. Two of such discovered fat-burning microbes are, Akkermansia muciniphila (A. muciniphila) and Christensenella.
muciniphila forms about three to five percent of gut bacteria and has links to a fiber-rich diet. It is more present in the microbiomes of leaner people. Researchers believe that A. muciniphila helps with a healthier distribution of fat as it produces short-chain fatty acids called acetate. Acetate helps regulate body fat stores and appetite. Foods that help boost this microbe include cranberries, fish oil, black tea, and flaxseeds.
Christensenella is also an upcoming microbe that may play a role in weight loss. However, it is hereditary, so your chance of having this microbe in your gut is higher if your relatives have them. It is okay if you do not have them as other helpful microbes can also boost your metabolism.
Does A Leaky Gut Make It Hard To Lose Weight?
A controversial subject in the medical community, leaky gut, also described as the permeability of the intestine, is a digestive disorder in which harmful body toxins and bacteria ‘leak’ through the intestinal walls. This condition occurs when there is an imbalanced amount of bacteria in your gut (dysbiosis), leading to the loosening of the intestinal walls' tight junctions, thus allowing harmful substances to enter bloodstreams, causing systemic inflammation.
This inflammation makes its way through your body, limiting your insulin’s function. Because it is insulin’s job to create energy by burning off calories from carbohydrates, its limited functionality will cause your body to store fat instead. Therefore, the inflammation caused by having a leaky gut will not support your good gut bacteria and weight loss efforts.
This disorder is frequently found among obese people who generally have issues with digestion and overall well-being, thereby making it hard to lose weight. Studies show that intestinal permeability has links to dysbiosis, unhealthy diets, and nutritional deficiencies, all of which can impair metabolism and make weight loss difficult. Because there has been no official diagnosis for leaky gut, there is no approved treatment for it. What you can do, however, is follow a strict anti-inflammatory diet or take probiotics to help balance your gut bacteria.
Can Probiotics Help Flatten Your Stomach/Lose Belly Fat?
Probiotics perform many bodily functions such as improving your digestive health, heart health, as well as enhancing your immune system. Multiple studies also reveal that consuming probiotics may help you to achieve weight loss. How so? Research shows that some probiotics may block fat absorption into your system, meaning your body takes in fewer calories from your food intake. The remaining fat leaves the body through excretion.
Probiotics also fight obesity and by releasing and increasing the hormones GLP-1 and ANGPTL4, respectively. GLP-1 is a hunger-reducing hormone, and increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and, eventually, burn fat. When probiotics increase the amount of ANGPTL4 in your system, this may lead to decreased fat storage.
Best Probiotic Supplements To Improve Gut Health And Lose Weight
Probiotic supplements have increasingly been advertised as the perfect drugs that promote gut health and strengthen immunity. But now, researchers suggest that probiotic supplements can also be used for weight loss. Bifidobacterium is one of the best probiotic strains for weight loss, as it helps digest fiber and other heavier carbs that our body has trouble digesting on its own.
It’s best to consult with your doctor before trying all new diets and supplements, as they will give you professional advice on which supplement may best suit your needs. Soon enough, you will be on your way to having a healthy microbiome.