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Is Gut Health The Key To Weight Loss?

Your gut microbiome is the most important organ you've never heard of

BY Chero Murumba

Jan 19, 2023, 08:21 AM

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The gut is so essential to our lives because it is related to everything in our bodies. The gut microbiome is basically everything from your mouth to your colon, the good bugs, the bad bugs, and all the bits in between. 

This means your gut microbiome is pretty much your stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and all the 38 trillion bacteria, yes, I said 38 trillion! This also includes fungi, viruses, yeast, cells, and then some. Let’s just say, there is a huge reason why you really need to take care of your intestines.

A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases. People who take care of their gut usually feel more energetic, get sick less often, and have better mental clarity, and better emotional well-being

Listen To Your Gut

I know what you are thinking. How do I know if my gut is unhealthy? Well, here are some clues. Do you suffer from bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhoea? These are just a few but very common signs of irritable bowel syndrome which mostly comes from having poor gut health. The causes of this discomfort stem from a part of food intolerances mostly linked to gluten.

Brain fog is also another common sign that your gut is unhealthy. Feeling like you just aren’t fully there, like you are in a daze is another sign. When you have an unbalanced gut microbiome it will change how you absorb nutrients, it will affect your blood sugars, alter your energy levels and in turn play a huge part in how you gain or lose weight

Ever heard of serotonin, the feel-good hormone, and antidepressant? Well, 90% of it is produced in the gut. We mentioned lack of sleep and constantly feeling tired, right? This is also linked to your gut, because the majority of melatonin, the sleep hormone, is produced in your gut. 

So, when you don’t sleep, the bugs in your gut don’t sleep and they don’t like that. Skin irritations like eczema and acne are also signs of inflammation in your gut or could also mean you have a leaky gut.

How Do I Improve My Gut Microbiome?

Well, ultimately, you are what you eat. Start by eating a diverse range of foods. i.e vegetables, fibres, probiotics, beans, legumes, and fermented foods. Fermented foods are also where we get our Lactobacilli, which is the gut's best friend when it comes to good bacteria.

Try to steer away from high-fat and sugary foods and focus more on a nutrient-dense diet. Eliminate artificial sweeteners! It’s difficult to digest this sugar which changes our gut microbiome and causes a lot of issues with weight gain, insulin response and increases the pro-inflammatory bacteria inside your gut. 

Eat prebiotic foods that produce good bacteria and also feed the good bugs in your gut. Try to minimize dairy. Most people are lactose intolerant and don’t even realize it. 

Want to fast-track the process? Try switching to a plant-based diet. This is the fastest way to improve your gut microbiome. The foods we eat can grow good and bad germs or bacteria which can improve or decrease our health. This is the reason why taking a lot of antibiotics is not recommended. It wipes out everything in your gut, bad and good microorganisms. 

It is also important to avoid eating fried foods and moderate the intake of alcohol (especially spirits) and caffeine, take probiotic food instead because these bacteria will help to regulate and balance the good bacteria in the gut. Also incorporating healthy oils like olive oil and whole grains. These foods contain polyphenols, which help to grow healthy bacteria in our gut. 

Stress Factor

Taking care of the gut is so important for our brain and body to work correctly. One of the aspects of this is not to have a lot of stress in our system, because that affects the function of our intestines. Remember, the central nervous system is directly connected to your gut.

That’s why it is so important to incorporate mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, and physical exercise in your daily routine to reduce the levels of stress in your body. It is also very necessary to have adequate sleep because this reduces the inflammation of the gut, and helps to prevent constipation. 

The gut is full of microbiomes. These microorganisms are literally living in the gut. That is their home. They help us to digest, nourish and control our immune system and keep the brain functioning at its best.

Everything In Moderation

Whew - finally, some relief! Not everything is bad. It's ok to enjoy a glass of red wine, a cup of green tea or a piece of chocolate. Just always ask yourself, “am I  feeding the good bugs or the bad bugs?”  I highly suggest you lean more towards the good bugs.

Take care of your gut, and your gut will take care of you! Not just for your weight loss journey, but as part of your overall health. It’s a great decision that only leads to a better life.  

Water Is Your Friend

Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. Water aids digestion, helps in preventing constipation and makes you glow. The minerals found in water help your body too. As the saying goes, water is life. 

Food For Thought

It’s easy to feed the body food that is not designed for it. This is our modern fight today. Food is being used as a poison to kill us slowly. Thankfully, now you can go ahead and trust that gut feeling.

You now know better and have another chance to choose wisely, by listening to your gut. Learn to cure your body not with medicines but with nutrition. Eat good food for medicine now so you don’t eat medicine for food later. You got this!

Read more: 3 ways to burn fat while you sleep

YANA SN2 - episode 1: The GUT HEALTH