Why Improving Your Gut is an essential part of the Weight Loss Solution
Gut Health: Our Second Brain
Our gut is a huge topic right now and an area of tremendous research as scientists discovers more connections between the gut and our brain and how it can impact our physical, mental and emotional health. In order to understand why taking care of your gut can help you to lose weight, first let’s look at its function and what can boost it’s benefits! Fixing the gut is also part of the first stage of my PCOS Weight Loss Program, in addition to incorporating hormone balancing foods and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.
Some functions of our gut include
a role in the efficacy of the immune system (70% of the immune system is located in the gut)
communication with all the other organs via the vagus nerve
Production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine
there is constant chatting between the gut and the brain at the level of blood brain barriers
can be linked to mental health in conditions such as anxiety and depression, ADHD etc.
Many organisms live in our gut including viruses. Most of them are bacteria and we refer them to probiotics or prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial friendly bacteria that reside in the gut and contributes to a great wellbeing whilst prebiotic foods are foods that allow probiotics to thrive. Prebiotic foods include fibre from leafy greens and multi-coloured fruit and vegetables. Most of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) studied from the 1990s have been claimed to help with digestion, controlled intestinal disorders, help with cholesterol levels and more.
Thus, it is important for us to have fermented foods in order to ingest these bacteria that can help us with our physiological functions. Most importantly, the diversity of our microbiome is crucial to determine our overall health. A wide variety of probiotics promote a wide variety of post-biotic metabolites which are essentials of a gut health toolkit - thus having a diversity of microorganisms in your gut can help the flora flourish and you yourself thrive!
What are toxic to the gut?
GMOs (wheat, corn, soy in USA)
Insecticides & Pesticides Glyphosate
Gluten (has gliadin molecule in it, which can contribute to leaky gut syndrome)
Low Fibre intake
Buildup of bad bacteria causing a dysbiosis (imbalance between the good and bad bacteria)
As with all other areas of health.. Only 10% of our health is impacted by medical interventions. 90% of our health is affected by our lifestyle, genomics, family history and environment.
There is a rise of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), candida overgrowth, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and leaky gut. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal lining becomes permeable and the barrier that separates the bloodstream from the intestine is disjointed (a.k.a) leaky. As a result of a leaky barrier, certain tiny particles from the intestines can flow into the bloodstream, particles which are not supposed to. This can lead to inflammation because your body does not recognise those particles in the bloodstream and launches an attack on them.
90% of the foods that enter the intestine - their nutrients should be absorbed before entering the large intestine. It is logical that if your intestinal lining is leaky and not working efficiently as it should be, then your nutrients from foods will not be absorbed as well. This is usually the case if someone were to embark on a healthy diet but am unable to resolve health issues or lose weight due to the lack of absorption of nutrients and poor gut health.
Nourishing foods for the gut
Start in small steps (have a different vegetable every week). For example, having 1/3 lentils in bolognese, 2/3 minced meat.
Before you get going on the probiotic supplements, do note that fibre is more important than probiotics to treat the gut.
bone broth (chicken soup) : Bone broth contains proline (which is a precursor to collagen and helps with tightening skin) and glycine (detox liver and cellular pathways) and L- glutamine for muscle recovery, protects gut as a Band-Aid. Broth also contains magnesium and potassium.
coconut oil (anti-microbial)
goat’s milk kefir
squash (treats the spleen)
a variety of coloured vegetables
Supplements for the gut
Probiotics (ideally 50 Billion), containing lactobacillus
Post-biotic metabolites: a new promising way of attaining the benefits of probiotics that can help heal the gut. One example is by way of acting out against cancerous cells and causing them cell death whilst sparing the normal cells.
Dr Megan Rossi maintains her stance that without taking care of our stress, having a healthy diet may not help in enhancing gut function at all. Stress affects all our organs as a collective mechanism (adrenals, thyroid) and that involves the gut too!
Other strategies to help care for the gut
Pranayama (yogic breathing)
Stress relieving techniques
Adequate sleep to help with shrinkage of brain cells in order to remove waste (a cleansing of the brain). Sleep can help with improvements of moods, increases stress tolerance and more.