Spring Gut Check

WEIGHT GAIN
What’s The Gut Got To Do With It

Happy Spring, everyone!

As we enter the new season, our thoughts turn to growth, gardens—and all things green….

Did you know there’s also a “garden” in your gut? It’s comprised of a complex network of trillions of microorganisms that work together to help you maintain vibrant health and achieve permanent weight loss.

Here are five ways to prime your gut—and replenish your microflora:

1. Reduce or cut out sweets and processed foods

Eating a diet rich in processed foods reduces the biodiversity of your microbiome, and when this happens, you pack on pounds. According to a 2014 study, changes can happen in as little as 24 hours!

2. Avoid antibiotics

Antibiotics disrupt the gut’s ecosystem by encouraging the proliferation of fat-promoting microbes.2 The negative effects of antibiotics on gut flora can last many months—and in some cases years!

3. Load up on leafy green veggies

An exciting discovery this past February suggests that due to an unusual sugar molecule found in them (sugar sulfoquinovose, or SQ), leafy greens are essential for feeding good gut bacteria. SQ evidently limits the ability of bad bacteria to colonize the gut by shutting them out of the prime “real estate.”3

4. Introduce fermented foods (aka probiotics)

Recently, evidence points to fermented food (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and pickled veggies) improving weight-loss outcomes and enhancing metabolism. They’re rich in probiotics, which encourage the growth of healthy microbes in your gut.

5. Make fiber your best friend 

In The Good Gut, Stanford’s Justin Sonnenberg, Ph.D., shows that enjoying more—and varied—fiber supports a healthy gut microbiome by increasing diversity and therefore protecting us from such Western diseases as diabetes, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Fiber also fosters a healthy metabolism. Incorporate fiber-rich prebiotic foods such as Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, and legumes to reap the benefits. Green tea, soybeans, and kefir are also great foods to feed our friendly microbes!

To learn about your own personal gut microbiota, visit The American Gut Project here.

To your good health,

Karen

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