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You may have heard of probiotics before since many health-conscious individuals know about them and discuss them in gyms and juice bars. But have you heard about prebiotics and what they can do for you?
That’s the subject that we’ll tackle in this article. In the end, you’ll know what prebiotics are, what they can do for you, and why so many individuals are incorporating them into their healthy lifestyles.
What Exactly Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are highly useful, non-digestible fiber types. There are two main things that they can do for you.
First, they produce short-chain fatty acids. They do this through fermentation. The production of SCFAs in your large intestine allows them to act as critical chemical messengers that your whole body will find helpful.
The second thing they do is promote beneficial microorganisms remaining in your body. Microorganisms are the gut probiotics that they have likely heard people describe in various health circles.
Prebiotic Fiber Examples, And The Weight Loss Connection
You can find prebiotic fiber examples such as inulin and oligofructose in some plants. Some companies add them to foods for texture and flavor.
You can also sometimes get probiotic and prebiotic fiber supplements that contain them. You can typically buy them at health food stores and through online marketplaces like Amazon.
You might start to hear people talk about prebiotics when they’re talking about nutrition’s part in weight loss. If you’re trying to drop a couple of pounds, you may hear some nutritionists talk about the calories in, calories out approach. A calorie deficit is certainly one way that you can try to lose weight.
However, in addition to calorie intake, you also need to look at your gut bacteria and what composes it. If the right microorganisms and SCFAs populate your gut, ample evidence now exists that you can stay lean easier.
Does Bad Gut Bacteria Cause Weight Gain?
The whole gut bacteria study and science are still in their infancy. There are certain things we do know at this point, though, that can help you lose weight and stay healthy.
If you have a healthy gut biome, many microorganisms are working for you all the time, such as yeast and minuscule bacteria. There are “good” ones and “bad” ones.
If you want to know the answer as to whether “bad” gut bacteria cause weight gain, the answer is yes. It can be a major facilitator. When you have too many harmful gut bacteria, nutritionists call that dysbiosis.
What Drives Up Your Bad Gut Bacteria?
If the diet you eat is high in processed foods and sugars, that can cause dysbiosis. For instance, maybe you eat lots of candy, white, processed bread such as Wonder Bread, and microwaveable dinners or precooked food.
All of those contain lots of sodium, sucrose, and preservatives. They need those because, without them, they wouldn’t taste as good, and they also would not last anywhere near as long. The manufacturers want them to have a longer shelf life because otherwise, they would rot on the shelf or in a freezer case before the consumer could ever eat them.
Dysbiosis occurs when you eat these foods frequently, but stress can also cause it. Both emotional and physical distress can be contributing factors. If you want to lose weight, you must not only eat better, but you must also lead a less stressful lifestyle.
Because of this, you might not be able to lose weight by changing your diet alone. That, combined with exercise, can undoubtedly help, but lifestyle changes like getting out of a stressful relationship or getting a less unpleasant job can make just as much difference.
Firmicutes And Bacteroidetes
Studies indicate that there are two bacteria types in your gut: firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. If you have too many firmicutes, obesity is more likely. You need to balance your gut bacteria if you want to lose weight, but also if you wish to feel better.
Healthy and balanced gut bacteria can play a huge metabolic process role. They can affect your weight and also your blood sugar and appetite. They can determine how much energy you have as well.
If you feel sluggish and are overweight, your gut bacteria’s composition and balance might have everything to do with that.
Introducing Probiotic And Prebiotic Fiber Into Your Life
If weight loss is the primary goal, there are several changes you can make that should help you with it. Caloric intake and exercise are always going to matter, but what you eat will as well.
If you begin to phase out processed foods and ingest more probiotic and prebiotic fiber, you’re taking steps in the right direction. For instance, cocoa bean compounds can benefit you. You can eat more legumes such as beans and lentils as well.
Grains help, such as oats, barley, and brown rice. Fruits are tremendously helpful, especially bananas, avocado, tomatoes, various berries, and apples.
Leafy green vegetables and some root vegetables can also help your gut bacteria. Chicory root, Belgian endive, garlic, leeks, onions, and asparagus are helpful, according to nutritionists.
It’s not always easy to completely change your eating habits. You can begin to do so bit by bit, though. You might start by phasing out some precooked or processed foods from your diet, one meal at a time.
If you cook your own food, that’s a good start since you know what goes into it that way. If you eat only pre-cooked food, then you might think it’s healthy because it does not seem to have a very high caloric content, and the total and saturated fat are not very high. You can eat like that, though, and you might not necessarily lose the weight that you want to drop.
If you can eat the food that we mentioned, then that should help balance out your gut bacteria. If that happens, you’ll not only lose weight, but you should have more energy and not feel as lethargic so often.