I hope you are having a great week. This week seems to be going by quickly, which is great because I'm already looking forward to the weekend. I had a chill weekend last weekend and spent some time both days at the beach, taking advantage of the weather while it's still nice out and the water's warm enough.
I am currently testing recipes and following my Eat Clean, Get Lean Fall Cleanse, and I made the most delicious chocolate milkshake today. I have found myself having a lot of sweet cravings on this cleanse for some reason, so have been trying to come up with some "cleanse friendly" sweet recipes. The chocolate milkshake is one of the dessert recipes on the cleanse. I'm going to try to come up with some kind of lemon dessert recipe. The cleanse will be launching later this month and is a great way to reset your body. It is difficult in the beginning, but the cleanses I offer are whole foods cleanses, so you're still able to eat food and don't have to rely on juice or shakes like some cleanses. By the end of the cleanse, I promise you will feel great. You can read more about my seasonal cleanses by clicking here.
Today, I wanted to discuss the benefits of probiotics. The human gut is home to over 100 trillion microorganisms. We have so many microorganisms living in us that only 1 out of 10 cells in our bodies is our own. It stands to reason that the delicate balance of this microscopic flora would have huge effects on our health.
Recent studies have shown promising links between having the right balance of gut flora and being thin. It is known that diet also has a huge impact on the type of flora inhabiting our intestines. Combining these two facts can be the key to your weight loss.
It seems that a diet high in plant foods has 3 ways it interacts gut flora:
First, the fiber only found in plant foods is digested by the good flora in your gut. This process releases propionate. You probably don’t care to know all the fancy names, but you should care about what this short chain fatty acid does for you. It has 3 main functions directly related to your weight: it decreases cholesterol, slows your digestion by making you feel fuller longer, and inhibits the formation of new fat cells.
The digestion of fiber from your plant intake also forms a second short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate inhibits the growth of cancer cells in your colon and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
The third way plant foods work with your gut flora to curb obesity is by feeding good bacteria and starving the bad.
In a study of the flora in thin people versus obese people, it was found that skinny people have a higher amount of bacteroidetes in their colon and obese people have a higher amount of firmicutes. It is known that polyphenols found in fruits, green tea, and vinegar promote the growth of bacteroidetes and suppress firmicutes.
Wow, that was a mouthful.
To put it in plain English, plant food grows gut flora that makes you skinny while hindering the growth of gut flora that makes you fat. Sorry for all the big words, but some of you, I know, will want to check my sources. I have two links below that give more in-depth explanations and cite the pertinent research.
So, the burning question is: should I take probiotics or not? Well, the answer can be complicated. I have long told my clients that not all probiotics work the same for everyone. Just like bioindividuality when it comes to food, the same logic applies to the kind of probiotics you should take. Lactobacilis acidophilus is better after taking antibiotics and for preventing bladder infections in women. Lactobacillus plantaris is great for its anti-inflammatory properties and is best for people with inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s. Most people will benefit from taking a probiotic, but equally important is to frontload your diet with a lot of plant-based nutrition.
If you have been following me long enough, you know how I feel about seasonally detoxing your body and resetting your digestive system. The fiber and polyphenols in your fruits and veggies will work with the probiotics and your morning elixir to do all the wonderful things that new research is showing to be true.
Nothing can replace eating a healthy diet loaded with a rainbow of fresh, clean plant food, but when things don’t feel right, a good round of probiotics just might do the trick – and help shed a few pounds, too!
If you suffer from digestive problems, my seasonal cleanses are set up like an elimination diet so you can discover any food intolerances that you might have. If you feel that you need more in depth, 1:1 support, check out my 3 Month Gut Healing Transformational Program by clicking here..