It’s no longer a secret that probiotics are good for you. We know we should have these elusive bacteria in our tummies. But where do we find them? And more importantly, will they help me lose weight! Well, first things first.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms (microflora) that reside in our bodies, primarily in our digestive tract, and have been heroically acclaimed as the “good” bacteria found in our bodies. We have trillions of these bacteria supporting our body’s ability to absorb nutrients and ward off infections.
Why are probiotics so good for me?
The balance of your gut flora should be approximately 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. If this balance is a bit off, and we have too many of the "bad" and not enough of the "good" bacteria it can cause all sorts of havoc on your body’s systems. This can be caused in part by age, genetics, antibiotic use, and an unhealthy diet —This imbalance can lead to diseases of the intestinal tract, including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, weight gain, skin conditions, constipation or diarrhea, and various chronic health conditions.
With a healthy balance of probiotics in our guts, we will benefit from:
- Improved digestion
- Stronger Immune System
- Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
- Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
- Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
- Reduced cold and flu
- Healing from “leaky” gut and inflammatory bowel disease
What about weight loss, will probiotics help?
Likely, yes! It appears that those of us who are overweight, may actually have different gut bacteria than those who have a healthy body weight and has been the subject of much research lately. One study from Canada’s own Laval University found that women taking a probiotic supplement for 3-months lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn’t take a supplement (9.7lbs versus 5.7lbs). Even after the 3-month period, the women taking the probiotics continued to slim down, losing 1.8 more pounds, on average. Probiotics may help you lose weight because they make your digestive tract less “leaky”, meaning fewer molecules that contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and glucose intolerance are able to enter your bloodstream. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
How do I get more probiotics in my diet?
To keep your tummy happy, and your weight loss journey on track, choose foods and supplements each day that are naturally abundant in probiotics. You can start by choosing some of our favourites below:
- Yogurt: The most popular probiotic food is live-cultured yogurt. Yogurt in most cases can rank at the top of probiotic foods if it comes from grass-fed animals and has not been pasteurized. Give our Fruit and Yogurt Parfait a try!
- Kefir: Literally meaning “feeling good”, kefir is a fermented dairy product that’s been consumed for more than 3,000 years. And for good reason! It contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics, and because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product is higher in probiotics.
- Cultured Vegetables (Sauerkraut and Kimchi): Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and Kimchi is its close cousin. Both are high in enzymes, acidic, and promote the growth of lots of good bacteria for your gut. Dig right in!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Great for controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and even weight loss, apple cider vinegar is a great daily addition that will bring many benefits — including providing probiotics. Try a tablespoon in some warm water with honey.
- Kombucha: Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years, originating around Japan. The primary health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.
- Supplements: Each of us ideally would include a small amount of naturally fermented food in our diet each day. But that isn't always convenient or possible, and that's when a probiotic supplement can provide additional support.
Now that you’re all brushed up on the benefits of probiotics & how they will support you on your weight loss journey, what would you like to do next?