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How improving your gut health affects your overall wellbeing

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Improving your gut health can bring a plethora of health benefits such as better digestion, less inflammation, improved immune function and overall better wellbeing.

Gut bacteria not only helps produce vitamins, but also aids communication with your immune system.

Not only that, it influences how you digest your food and the chemicals you produce to signal when you are full.

When your gut bacteria is out of whack so is your digestion and your chemical balance, leading you to feel sluggish, bloated and low in energy causing you to crave sugary and carb rich foods.

As such, weight gain is inevitable and many of us may have put on weight in this manner without even realising.

One study looked into the gut bacteria of 77 pairs of twins and it found that obesity was linked to lower gut bacteria.

Other studies have shown that if you take the gut bacteria from obese people and put it into mice then they tend to gain weight.

Gut bacteria also affects your brain health, and in one study with participants taking a prebiotic called galactooligosaccharides, significantly reduced the amount of stress hormone cortisol.

If your body produces too much cortisol, then this can affect your sleep and weight cycles and ultimately push your body out of balance.

Reducing your consumption of sugary processed foods is one step to looking after your gut, as well as consuming fermented foods such as a good quality kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut.

Kefir is one of my favourite ingredients to add to my recipes as it’s so versatile. I often add to ice-cream, cookies, raspberry bread, muffins and salad dressings.

As well as fermented foods, you should also consume wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as polyphenol rich foods such as green tea, dark chocolate and red wine.

Taking probiotic supplements can also help restore healthy gut bacteria. During a three-month study, women taking probiotics lost 50 per cent more weight compared to the group taking a placebo.

In particular Lactobacillus gasseri has been shown to prove to be the most promising probiotic bacteria to show effective results on weight loss.

One study looked at 210 people suffering from belly fat and found that taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced body weight as well as BMI and waist size, while belly fat was reduced by 8.5 per cent.

That said taking probiotics aren’t just beneficial for weight loss, as mentioned previously, they can also help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and also fight depression and anxiety.

So, in summary if look after your gut you will also look after your wellbeing overall.


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