Yes, says Ahlaam Ali, Nutrition and Integrated Health Coach and Gut Health Expert.
We all know that eating healthy and increasing our movement/activity levels are the obvious strategies for weight loss. But did you know that these behaviors affect your Gut Microbiome positively which in turn in the reason weight loss happens through key microbial actions??
In fact customized diets can be designed based on the individual’s personal gut microbiome profile.
Researches show that gut microbial composition and diversity varies significantly between overweight and lean individuals.
Over weight individuals have significantly less bacterial diversity in the gut overall and more Firmicutes, which is a type of bacteria that adversely affects gat and glucose metabolism.
Overweight individuals have also been found to have significantly less Bacteroidetes than their leaner counterparts . Bacteroidetes are vavourable bacteria in the gut that produce short chain fatty acids that are associated with lower levels of inflammation and protection from obesity.
Very clear differences are observed in gut microbes which in turn plan a role in many factors that affect an individuals weight such as food cravings, hormones and metabolic effects.
Do we ever think where our food cravings originate from?? Research shows that whether you craves sugary foods or salted savoury snacks could well be a result of the microbes in your gut. This is because many microbes have the ability to control its host behavior.
One study also found that individual who crave chocolate have certain microbial metabolites in their urine that the individuals who done crave chocolate do not have.
Wait what?? I can just hear you exclaiming!! Yes read this again! It’s the diversity of the gut Microbiome that will dictate what cravings you have and what your weight turns out to be.
The more diverse your gut Microbiome, the less likely you are to be overweight. Strange right!!
The interesting fact is that when a more diverse gut Microbiome has less influence over host behavior because more energy is expended on competition between bacteria and less energy is expended on microbial “Fitness” which can occur when there are fewer varieties of bacteria in the gut!
When this happens, microbial populations manipulate host behavior in less favorable ways (such as cravings) to boost their own survival. One explanation for this is that gut microbes may influence taste receptors!
Research tells us that Gut microbes can also affect hormones that alter hunger and satiety levels such as Leptin, Glucagon-like-peptide and Ghrelin.
Studies show that gut microbes can influence Leptin a hormone that signals fullness and affects caloric expenditure. GLP- 1 is another hormone affected by the composition of the gut Microbiome and its job is to send nutritional and energy status signals from the gut to the central nervous system in order to control food intake.
So what are some of the strategies you can use to support your Gut Health and Weight Loss? The thing to do is Nurture your Beneficial Gut Microbes
Start with the following:
- Crowd out high fat overly processed foods
- Increase the diversity of the fruits and vegetables you eat
- Eat more Polyphenols – these are compounds that enhance cardiac health and have anti cancer benefits
- Choose Heart healthy fats like avocados, flax seeds, nuts and seeds. Salmon, cod or tuna will also be beneficial to help reduce inflammation in your gut.
- Include prebiotics (non digestible fibre into your daily diet. Found in apples, asparagus, chia seeds, garlic and onions
- Include probiotics in your diet regularly these include fermented vegetables, yogurt or kefir with live active cultures and fermented soybeans.
Making these small changes can make a big difference to your gut health and your weight. Keep us posted and feel free to send me a question: email@example.com
For fun, easy, anti-inflammatory recipes and tips follow: