You’ve probably heard of probiotics at one point or another and the benefits of consuming them.
What you may not know is that probiotics, if consumed regularly, can boost your weight loss quite considerably along with improving your gut health and vitality.
What are probiotics and how can they help you lose weight faster?
Probiotics are tiny organisms that exist in your gastrointestinal tract. Probiotic actually means “for life,” and probiotics like lactobacillus, plantarum and bifidis help immune cells fight disease, improve your digestion, protect your intestines from bad bacteria, and provide your body with the proper nutrients for healthy blood cells.
Probiotics got noticed for the first time when a Nobel Prize-winning Russian microbiologist traveled to Bulgaria and observed people who were drinking fermented milk and living longer, healthier lives.
For thousands of years, many cultures ate fermented foods before refrigerators came into existence as a safe way of storing and eating foods. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria that our bodies need for healthy functioning.
Probiotics form fermented milk (yogurt) and other fermented foods contain the good bacteria that are found in our digestive systems. The health of the lining in your intestinal tract is key to optimal health.
Unfortunately, today’s modern diets are processed, pasteurized and basically ‘dead’ foods. What happens when you eat a diet high in processed, ‘dead’ foods, is that harmful bacteria take over in the digestive system, causing many problems — not only with the digestive system, but the body as a whole, which can have a negative effect on your weight loss.
Consuming foods high in probiotics and optionally, supplementing with probiotics is the best way to ensure that your body has ample amounts of these essential bacteria.
Believe it or not, the tiny organisms that inhabit our digestive system have a huge impact on our health and well-being. What we eat on a daily basis determines what kind of organisms we have.
Unhealthy, process foods and starchy foods along with foods high in sugar can cause the bad bacteria in our stomach to grow out of control.
This proliferation of bad bacteria weakens the immune system and hampers your body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients. The good bacteria in your gut fight off dangerous organisms and potentially harmful immune system invaders.
Probiotics regulate your body’s immune system responses and suppress excessive inflammation. Medications such as antibiotics, a diet high in sugar and environmental toxins can kill off too many good bacteria in your gut. As you age, your body’s levels of good bacteria tend to decrease.
The good news is that adding the right types of good bacteria or probiotics, will restore and maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract. Consuming probiotics on a regular basis also fights aging and improves your overall health.
Here’s how to choose the right probiotics:
When choosing probiotics supplements, make sure that they contain high amounts of “live” cultures such as lactobacillis, and bifido bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces boulardii With probiotic supplements, look at how many CFU’s are present in each serving, and go for the highest number.
Yogurt contains a good number of live cultures and probiotics. When buying yogurt, be sure to choose plain or Greek yogurt. Do not buy flavored yogurt as it is higher in calories due to the added sugar and tends to contain less probiotics than plain yogurt.
Most probiotics will die if they are not refrigerated, so be sure to buy from a source that keeps their products cold enough at all times. Once purchased, keep refrigerated at all times.
Probiotics are safe and most do not have any bad side effects but read labels carefully and always take as directed. Some probiotics may have a ‘cleansing’ effect on your digestive system—especially if you are not used to taking them on a regular basis.
Here are some of the best probiotic foods that you should eat on often (several times a week):
Yogurt – Always go with unsweetened yogurt and avoid the sweetened version. All flavored yogurts and yogurts that contain added fruit or other ingredients are considered processed and you should thus avoid them.
Kimchi – is a Korean condiment consisting of fermented cabbage and other vegetables. It’s seasoned with salt, garlic and sometimes chili peppers. Fermented vegetables are easier for your body to digest and tend to have more nutrients.
Kombucha – This is a tea that has been used in China for over 2,000 years for medicinal purposes. It’s made from yeasts and good bacteria and is high in amino acids, B vitamins and other powerful immune boosting compounds.
Sauerkraut – Is made up of fermented cabbage and contains loads of healthy bacteria along with essential enzymes. Go with fresh Sauerkraut as it’s the healthiest and contains the highest amounts of healthy bacteria. Be sure to keep it refrigerated at all times. Canned sauerkraut is not the same as fresh because it does not contain healthy bacteria due to the heating process involved in canning foods.
Kefir – This is a fermented milk drink that tastes very similar to yogurt except that it’s a lot more liquid. It contains many strains of beneficial bacteria that remain active in the digestive system once consumed.
Eat these probiotic foods along with other unprocessed foods on a daily basis and stay away from sugar to keep your digestive tract healthy.
Be sure to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest and sunshine to maximize your fat burning potential.
Author: Adi Crnalic, C.P. T