23 Gut-Friendly Foods That Are Great For Natural Weight Loss
Your microbiome is your key to weight loss success. We used to think that the bacteria in our intestines (microbiome) were essentially there and not doing much. We now know differently. These little critters are highly active and powerful in terms of their ability to dictate what we eat, our cravings, how hungry we are, and how many calories we extract from the food we are eating. They're also to blame for unwelcome food cravings.
Our microbiome plays a starring role in creating healthy fat genes by eating specific types of fiber called prebiotics that create short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which helps reduce our genetic predisposition to weight gain.
It turns out that lean people have more gut bacteria and a more diverse microbiota1 than those who are overweight or obese. An imbalance of gut bacteria may cause low-grade inflammation in your body, contributing to weight gain, obesity, and difficulty losing weight.
The good news? Gut microbes respond quickly to a change in diet. We can begin to take control and lose weight by eating the types of food that healthy gut bacteria thrive and multiply on.
Adding just one to three servings a day of the right prebiotic (foods that feed beneficial bacteria) and/or probiotic foods (foods that contain beneficial bacteria) to feed and nurture your microbiome will help stop sugar and carb cravings while you are beefing up your army of good healthy microbes to create weight loss success.
Top 10 prebiotic foods that promote weight loss:
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Raw dandelion greens
- Raw or cooked onion
- Raw garlic
- Raw leeks
- Raw asparagus
Top 13 probiotic foods that promote weight loss:
- Yogurt (without sugar), including nondairy coconut yogurt
- Cheese made from raw milk
- Kefir (fermented milk drink)
- Lassi (Indian yogurt drink)
- Sauerkraut (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Pickles (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Cultured veggies (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
- Natto (fermented soy)
- Kimchi (spicy Korean condiment)
- Kombucha (effervescent cultured drink)
Though it's not a food, by adding a daily multistrained probiotic supplement with at least 15 billion CFU (colony-forming units),you will help ensure a healthy intake of probiotics. The bottom line is that if you feed these little critters well, they will help you lose weight and create optimal health.
Lori Shemek, Ph.D. is a leading fat cell researcher and recognized authority on inflammation and its role in weight loss, preventing disease and optimizing health. Dr. Shemek is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Certified Life Coach, and the creator and owner of DLSHealth Works, which helps men and women conquer their issues with weight and self-esteem. She is the nutrition expert for the Dallas Healthy Aging Institute and the NFL Houston Texans cheerleaders. She is the author of How to Fight Fatflammation: A Revolutionary 3-Week Program to Shrink the Body’s Fat Cells for Quick and Lasting Weight Loss (HarperOne; April 28, 2015).