It seems like every day new and exciting research is rolling in about the many perks and benefits of probiotics.
One of the most amazing benefits about probiotics are how these living nutrients play such an essential role on your path to effective weight loss.
So What are Probiotics anyways?
Probiotics are essentially millions of microscopic, good healthy bacteria that live in the gut and keep the body in harmony and the digestive process working optimally.
There’s roughly 3 to 5 pounds of bacteria living in your gut at any given moment.
Pretty amazing right?
There are countless benefits to keeping your gut in balance, like increased immune function, everyday regularity and a more clear and focused mind to name a few!
So, the intestinal tract is loaded with beneficial bacteria, (also known as gut flora) that are always working to keep the body safe from invading pathogens. So, it’s extremely important to have enough beneficial bacteria alive and well inside your gut. Probiotics are here to save the day.
Things That Harm Your Gut
- Using Antibiotics
- A diet that’s high in processed foods
- Not eating simple whole foods
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Lack of Exercise
- Not enough sleep
- An Acidic diet
- Smoking cigarettes
Keep in mind this is just a short list but are the most common.
Notice I put antibiotics at the top of the list?
This is because taking antibiotics works hard at killing infections and the bad bugs and bacteria however they also kill the good bacteria as well.
It’s like dropping a bomb on your gut, both the good and the bad are destroyed too.
This is why many doctors and health coaches often recommend taking a probiotic supplement and or eating probiotic and fermented foods both during and directly after taking antibiotics. This helps to bring the “good guys” back in balance and give them a fighting chance.
First and foremost, the best ways to make sure your getting enough probiotics is to consume them through fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha to name a few.
This is because the beneficial bacteria that’s in the fermented food is more easily able to make it through the stomach and digestive tract and being in the food form, it’s much more recognizable to your body.
Now, if you find that it’s hard to eat fermented foods everyday, it’s definitely recommended to take a daily probiotic supplement in order to bring your gut bacteria back to balance and harmony.
Types of Probiotics
There are many different kinds of probiotic strains that are available and every day there are new and unique combinations being made.
In this article, Dr. Perlmutter lists 5 of the most important beneficial bacteria which are:
- Lactobaccilus plantarum
- Lactobaccius acidophilus
- Lactobaccilus brevis
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Bifidobacterium longum
Four of these are readily available in fermented food products, with the last one Bifidobacterium longum that we come into contact at birth.
So, it’s extremely wise to eat a wide array fermented foods on an everyday basis. This helps to ensure that you’re getting access to and benefiting from all the different probiotic strains that are available to us.
However, rest assured, if you find that you don’t like the taste of fermented foods, adding a probiotic supplement is the second best option.
Probiotics Need To Eat Too
Now that you know just how important good bacteria is, it’s essential to make sure that you are nourishing this good bacteria by also eating enough prebiotics, which is really easy to do.
Prebiotic compounds are made up of non-digestible fiber and are found in foods such as garlic, bananas, onions, greens and jerusalem artichoke.
What happens is your bacteria consumes this fiber and breaks it down and uses it for energy and fuel to survive and thrive!
A general rule is to just aim to eat a wide variety of whole plant based foods, a rainbow of colors, pigments and textures.
Remember, whole foods first, supplementation is second because probiotics from food are the best for the body first and foremost.
How Probiotics Help Keep You Healthy
The benefits that probiotics offer your gut are truly amazing, this also affects the rest of your body.
First, one of the most essential parts of being lean and healthy is having a balanced and stable mind. A healthy gut has a direct link to a healthy mind which makes you more happy about each day, motivated move and exercise and better able to make the right food decisions.
Getting in shape and becoming more healthy also requires a strong stable mindset.
When you have a health gut it will help you to stay on track of a healthy routine
A healthy gut will improve the overall quality and state of your immune system which in turn will make your entire body function at its best.
It’s important to note that getting in good physical shape and losing weight requires the whole body to be healthy and function well.
If certain bodily functions are out of whack this will go on and cause a ripple effect and will decrease your energy and metabolism and make you more sluggish and tired.
Probiotic foods and supplements help your inner ecology maintain everyday regularity which means that your digestive tract will be able to efficiently remove waste products from the body properly.
One of the most important aspects of healthy and successful weight loss is to keep the body in a healthy state of equilibrium and balance, instead of just focusing on calories coming in and out.
Whenever we eat unhealthy foods and become stagnant this tends to decrease our energy and make us feel more down and even sick. When you feel down it’s much easier to lay on the couch and eat ice cream and make bad food choices.
So, if the body is healthy and in balance as a result of a healthy diet and active lifestyle, you will naturally feel good everyday. When you feel like this it will help inspire you to stay on track and keep living this way.
Also, whenever we eat certain foods the bacteria in the gut starts to crave more of those foods. So, if you eat unhealthy junk food then that is what you’re feeding your gut and it will start to get accustomed to it.
On the contrary if the more healthy and fermented food that you incorporate into your diet the more your body (unhealthy bacteria) will start to crave healthy food.
In this article Dr Mercola states when you eat unhealthy processed food that it’s like “fertilizer” and becomes a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and unhealthy organisms.A healthy gut also helps the digestive system absorb, assimilate and extract minerals and nutrients from the food that you eat decreasing the possibility of malabsorption.