A new study shows that gut flora, the bacteria that lives in our intestines, has a direct impact upon how our food is broken down for our consumption. In fact, it would appear that gut flora can significantly help in the fight against obesity. Simply stated, eat fermented foods in order to fight against obesity.
Researchers that produced the study took identical twins, one skinny the other obese, and took some of their gut flora and inserted it into mice. Both mice were given the same diet, the only thing different being the flora in their digestive track. What they found was that the mouse that had the gut flora from the obese brother gained a significant amount of weight, the other mouse remained lean even though both mice were eating the exact same thing.
While good gut flora cannot maintain health on their own, a poor diet will create a shift in the flora that aids our digestion, but you can support and provide a healthy environment for the ‘good’ bacteria to thrive. In conjunction with a healthier diet and some exercise, one could see a significant different in the reduction of the storaging of fat.
Fermented foods, which have many probiotics and ‘good’ gut flora, have been a traditional part of the human diet for millennia. However, in the past hundred years we have taken to pasteurizing everything, preventing new bacteria from entering our system. While this has helped reduce the number of infections in our population, it has also prevented ‘good’ and beneficial bacteria from entering into our system. Even the ‘good stuff’ that can usually be found in sauerkraut and pickles has largely been lost as we tend to use vinegar rather than a traditional lacto-fermentation process to make them.
It can be very easy and simple to begin cultivating your own fermented foods and beverages. With urban homesteading and crafts on the rise in our country, it may be rather easy to find someone who already pickles their own vegetables or even brews their own fermentations. Kefir, so associated with milk and yogurt and the positive digestional aid that it can be, is something that anyone can cultivate and use. Kefir actually has two strains, water and milk. The milk, the one you typically see in a grocery store, is one that is fairly well known; it eats the sugars in the milk to produce the bacteria and nutrients that help develop beneficial digestional flora.
Water kefir, less well known, is made with sugar water, or fruit juice, or coconut water. The kefir bacteria eats the sugars to produce the beneficial probiotics that aid in digestion. While you may have to drink more of the water kefir to produce the same effect as the milk kefir, the smooth, soda like replacement, is much easier to drink in larger quantities.
There are literally thousands of different fermentations, specifically lacto-fermentations, that can help aid the process of digestion and, as has been shown, help fight obesity. It would seem that adding some kind of fermented foods to your typical diet, in addition to cutting out the overly processed fast foods, can help fight obesity in a big way. Once you have lost the weight, once you have a gut full of beneficial bacteria, then keeping the weight off could be a simple matter as well.
While there is no magic bullet that will melt off the pounds and keep them off, the integration of bacteria, alive and growing, that benefit the efficient breakdown of food could be a simple introduction to your diet in order to drastically reduce and help keep off the excess weight. Yet, it is important to remember, live cultures will always be better than dead ones.
By Iam Bloom