Can a bad Gut Health prevent you from loosing WEIGHT?

Do you frequently suffer from acidity, indigestion, constipation or gastric problems? 

Are you trying to shed those extra pouches of fat, but after trying everything also your weighing scale is stuck on the same number?

You need to read this, if so

Our body contains trillions of bacteria majorly located in the intestines. These Gut bacterias help us in the digestion of food, controls metabolism, improves immunity by protecting against pathogens such as viruses, provides essential nutrients, enzymes and hormones. 

These Gut bacteria also produce chemicals which can make you feel full or hungry which invariably affects your body weight.

A research study published proves that some gut bacteria are better for weight loss than others. People who have more of a particular strain – “Christensenellaceae”, were more likely to be leaner and had lower BMI in comparison to those who didn’t have these bacteria.

Link between Gut Bacteria and Obesity

In addition to the kinds of gut bacteria, the diversity of bacteria is also essential. There’s also a link between bacteria diversity and weight loss. There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight appears to be connected to the balance of these two families of bacteria. In majority of researches, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes. On the other hand, many studies have also failed to find a link between the firmicutes-to-bacteroidetes ratio and obesity. Some types of gut bacteria also affect the absorption and storage of fat compared to other which are more prone to latching onto and storing fat within the intestines, resulting in weight gain. People who are overweight tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than lean people. 

One key Nutrient to look out for to help improve your gut health are- PROBIOTICS 

Probiotics can play a very important role here. Probiotics seem to effect appetite and energy usage via the production of acetate, propionate, and butyrate, which are short-chain fatty acids. Probiotics may reduce obesity in other ways which involves: 

  • Releasing appetite-regulating hormones: Probiotics may help in the secretion of the appetite-reducing hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY). Increased levels of these hormones in the body may help you burn more calories and eventually result in weight loss.
  • Increasing levels of fat-regulating proteins: Probiotics may upsurge the levels of the protein angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4). This will help in weight loss by reducing fat storage in the body. 

Probiotics also help in reducing systemic inflammation and protects against obesity. 

The Best and Worst Foods for Your Gut Bacteria

First let’s find out the 5 Ways to Keep Your Gut Bacteria Healthy

1. Eat more fiber:

a. Whole grains: Grains that haven’t been refined. They’re high in fiber, which is digested by healthy gut bacteria like Bifidobacteria and may support weight loss.

b. Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contains fibers that are good for your gut health. Eating a variety of plant-based foods can improve gut bacteria diversity.

c. Nuts and seeds: They contain lots of fiber and healthy fats, which help support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

2. Polyphenol-rich foods: These include dark chocolate, green tea and red wine. The polyphenols in these foods promote the growth of good bacteria.

C. Fermented foods: Fermented foods include yogurt, kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut. These foods contain beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli and can minimize other disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.

D. Snack better: Instead of grabbing a cookie when your stomach starts growling at 4:00 p.m., reach for a handful of nuts and a fruit. Choose plain Greek yogurt and mix in chia seeds or your favorite berries for a hit of fiber. 

E. Move your body: Your gut bacteria gets a boost from a good workout. So sweat daily to trim your gut.

On the other hand, eating some foods in excess may harm your gut health:

1. Sugary foods: A diet high in sugar can stimulate the growth of certain unhealthy bacteria in the gut, which may contribute to weight gain.

2. Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin reduce beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which may lead to high blood glucose.

3. Foods containing unhealthy fats: Healthy fats such as omega-3’s supports beneficial bacteria in the intestines, whereas too many saturated fats (red meat, butter, lard, sausages, bacon, cured meats) may contribute to the growth of disease-causing bacteria.

More diverse your gut bacteria – More the benefits. 

Credits: Balveen Kohli, Bushra Qureshi

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