Do you want to shed a few kilos, and could the good bugs in your body affect the size of your jeans?
Fermented food is so trendy at the moment; just walk through the aisles of any health shop and you’ll come across kombucha and miso on their shelves. Even top restaurants have included dishes like kimchi on their menu!
Truth is, gut health is garnering mainstream interest, but will guzzling kombucha be a quick fix to the battle of the bulge? Could it be that easy?
Honestly, most probiotic research has focused on how it improves digestive issues and immune health, and as a result there is not much evidence that the current obesity crisis is linked to the microbiome. However, whether your gut is healthy or unhealthy will determine how your digestion functions, how likely you are to have cravings, how energetic you feel and how well your immune system works. So yes, in theory, feeding the bugs in your belly with foods that help your microbiome thrive should make it a bit easier for you to lose weight.
To back this up, researchers found that some types of gut flora play a crucial role in influencing both metabolism and appetite. Some studies have led to promising discoveries. In fact, an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition noted that women who took probiotic supplements in tandem with a calorie restricted diet, lost more fat than those who popped a placebo for 24 weeks. Encouraging, right?
Unfortunately, the secret to losing weight isn’t that simple. A healthy gut won’t guarantee weight loss, and although probiotics alone won’t make you lose weight, they are certainly part of the puzzle.
The take home message here? Take care of your gut by incorporating more fermented foods into your diet. In Japan and China, fermented soya products such as miso, soya sauce and tempeh are part of their daily diet. The German’s love their sauerkraut, the Russians eat borscht and the Koreans have kimchi with nearly every meal. Fermented foods are good sources of probiotics and eating them is the best way to replenish the good bacteria in your gut. If probiotic offering foods aren’t a daily part of your diet, take a supplement.
Eating a diverse diet rich in high-fibre foods will be your best bet for long-term weight loss. Not only will it keep your good bacteria happy but foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, beans and whole grains will keep you feeling full while consuming fewer calories. Also, of course, make sure to avoid processed foods. Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise. And, don’t take antibiotics the moment you feel the sniffles coming on; they deplete all gut bacteria, including the beneficial strains.
Sure, there’s still a lot of research that needs to be done, but it is safe to say that a healthy gut is associated with a healthy diet, and weight loss may just be the cherry on the top!
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.