We already know what probiotics are, since everyone is talking, and everyone says you should be taking them, and guess what? Everyone is right. Having the right bacteria is key to having numerous health benefits. Such good little fella bacterias are linked to weight loss, improved digestive system, better skin, enhanced immune system to name just a few.
One of the most important roles that probiotics a.k.a good bacteria, play in our bodies is lining the parts of the gastrointestinal tract, where they help digest the food we consume, produce vitamins and fight off bad bacteria that bring us diseases. Furthermore, scientists now suggest that our gut flora actually determines the body fatness.
How do they work?
To really grasp how probiotics work when it comes to losing weight, you’ll first have to understand the key players. Our gut contains two first families called Bacteroidetes which are considered to be good bacteria, and Firmicutes, the not-so-good bacteria. People with a leaner figure usually have a bigger amount of bacteria from the Bacteroidetes family, while obese people have more from the Firmicutes family. Basically, this means that maximizing the Bacteroidetes and minimizing the Firmicutes, we optimize healthy energy harvesting from our food and kick our obesity problem to the curb.
What are the best probiotics for weight loss?
One member of the Bacteroidetes family called Lactobacillus is praised as single-handedly best probiotic when it comes to weight loss. A study conducted in Quebec, Canada had 125 overweight men and women and put them on a 12-week-weight-loss diet, followed by another 12-week period of maintaining that body weight. Women who were given Lactobacillus rhamnosus twice a day lost double the weight compared to their counterparts who were not given any probiotics. Found in dairy products and also dietary supplements, look for the label that reads L. rhamnosus.
Furthermore, a research in 2013 had 210 people with central obesity or also known as lots of fat in the abdomen area, taking part in the study. They were given Lactobacillus gasseri and at the end of the study that lasted 12 weeks, they had lost 8.5% of their belly fat mass. When they stopped taking probiotics, they gained the fat back within a period of 4 weeks.
How probiotics encourage weight loss is not totally clear yet, but there are some theories that make sense. Some studies suggest that probiotics help block the fat absorption and increase the excretion of fat through the stool, therefore, lowering the number of calories absorbed by your body.
Probiotics found in food
Keep in mind that it’s not all about probiotic supplement when it comes to weight loss. You might aid your fat burning process by adding probiotic foods to your diet. Such foods that are naturally packed with probiotics include yogurt, kefir, and kombucha to name just a few. It’s very important to eat in ways that promote a healthy gut. To promote a healthy gut microbiome, pack on a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Take kefir, for example, a delicious cross between yogurt and milk that is naturally packed with probiotics and vitamins. Another food that is naturally packed with probiotics and yummy is Sauerkraut, a pickled cabbage dish. Moreover, this delicious food is also an anti-aging food, so it’s a win-win. Also give Kimchi a try, a popular Korean side dish that consists of spicy fermented and pickled cabbage that is an excellent way to add probiotics to your diet. Pickles, in general, contain a good amount of probiotics that are very much welcomed for our digestive system. However, most of the products sold in U.S stores have been through a heating process called pasteurization for safety purposes, but this process tends to kill both the good and the bad bacteria. So, to get the most out of the fermented benefits, look for unpasteurized products or make your own.
However, you should keep in mind that a healthy gut does not guarantee weight loss. Probiotics alone won’t make you shed pounds, but they are definitely part of the puzzle.
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.
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