The human gut is home to over 100 trillion microorganisms. We have so many microorganisms living in us that only 1 out of 10 cells in our bodies is our own. It stands to reason that the delicate balance of this microscopic flora would have huge effects on our health and be a main component in healing our guts and a host of other dis-eased states. Even if you have no digestive issues, most of what ails us stems from our gut! This has been a huge help to many clients suffering from excess weight, depression and anxiety, ADHD, food cravings, fatigue, mood swings, skin issues, AND digestive issues. I now work with people and use what I call the Probiotic Protocol.
Recent studies have shown promising links between having the right balance of gut flora and being at a healthy and lean weight. It is known that diet also has a huge impact on the type of flora inhabiting our intestines. Combining these two facts can be the key to your weight loss.
It seems that a diet high in plant foods has 3 ways it interacts gut flora: First, the fiber only found in plant foods is digested by the good flora in your gut. This process releases Propionate. You probably don’t care to know all the fancy names, but you should care about what this short chain fatty acid does for you. It has 3 main functions directly related to your weight: It decreases cholesterol, slows your digestion by making you feel fuller longer, and inhibits the formation of new fat cells. The digestion of fiber from your plant intake also forms a second short chain fatty acid called Butyrate. Butyrate inhibits the growth of cancer cells in your colon and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. The third way plant foods work with your gut flora to curb obesity is by feeding good bacteria and starving the bad! Yes, pretty amazing, right?
In a study of the flora in lean people versus obese people, it was found that lean people have a higher amount of Bacteroidetes in their colon and obese people have a higher amount of Firmicutes. It is known that polyphenols found in fruits, green tea, and vinegar promote the growth of Bacteroidetes and suppress Firmicutes.
To put it in plain English, plant food grows gut flora that makes you lean while hindering the growth of gut flora that makes you heavy. *I have a link below that will give a more in-depth explanation and cite the pertinent research.
So, the burning questions is: Should I take a probiotic? Well, the answer can be complicated. I have long told my clients that not all probiotics work the same for everyone. Just like bioindividuality when it comes to food, the same logic applies to the kind of probiotics you should take. Lactobacilis acidophilus is better after taking antibiotics and for preventing bladder infections in women. Lactobacillus plantaris is great for its anti-inflammatory properties and is best for people with inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s. And this barely scratches the surface of what is being studied! The many strains and amounts are being tested and studied for even more detailed analysis on how they can be used for our health benefits. I believe that we are just at the tip of the iceburg when it comes to our amazing mictobiome.
So, my burning answer is: Most people will benefit from taking a probiotic supplement and/or consuming living, raw fermented foods and drinks. But equally important is to front load your diet with plant-based nutrition.
If you have been following me long enough, you know how I feel about seasonally detoxing your body and resetting your digestive system. The fiber and polyphenols in your fruits and veggies will work with the probiotics and your morning elixir to do all the wonderful things that new research is showing to be true.
Nothing can replace eating a healthy diet loaded with a rainbow of fresh, clean plant food, and nutrient dense Omega 3’s. But when things don’t feel right, or you feel your gut is not functioning as it should, introducing a good probiotic might be the ticket for you. Also adding in fermented foods and drinks to your daily routine may just be what your gut ordered to feel good and help shed a few pounds, too!
* http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fawning-over-flora/ part 1 of three (follow the links to get to the research)
For more information on my Probiotic Protocol, schedule a Jam Session and I can help determine which sources may work for you! Or sign up for my new Simple Spring Detox, which includes loads of information on Probiotics, Fermented Foods and how you can use these to transform your body.
Happy eating! ~Tif