The obesity epidemic is fully out of control and the benefits of probiotics could be the answer.
According to the most recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 33.1% of adults in the U.S. are overweight, 35.7% are obese, and 6.3% are extremely obese. Those numbers represent 75% of American adults.
There are similar (and worse) statistics in other developed nations. The United States is not alone (or even at the top of the list).
However, what truly concerns me are the obesity statistics for young people. The CDC reported that 33.6% of those aged 12-19 are overweight or borderline obese while 18.4% meet the criteria for obesity. That means the trends are already in place for future generations.
Not only is obesity destroying our health, it’s a drain on the economy. In the United States alone, more than $100 billion is spent annually in the treatment of illness caused by obesity.
Changing how you think about your body – and the fuel you put inside it – is critical for us to turn the tide on obesity (and most other major diseases). Addressing the problems currently facing the human population from the inside out is the only answer.Changing how you think about your body is critical for us to turn the tide on obesity.Click To Tweet
The Importance of the Gut Microbiome
In the last decade, researchers have learned that the human gut is more important than previously assumed. More than being “regular,” a healthy balance of positive bacteria has been linked to improved immunity and lower risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, and obesity.
One of the easiest (and most effective) ways to achieve good gut flora is through the benefits of probiotics. The Western Diet has replaced many of the whole foods our body requires to run efficiently with food that offers little or no nutrition.
The introduction of over-processed food began slowly but gained popularity in the late 1970s with the average American. By the 1980s, “instant” foods became the norm. They were cheap, easily accessible, and convenient for busy lifestyles.
Consumers didn’t question the influx of fake food because it was assumed that the “medical research” confirming the benefit of products such as margarine, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup had our best interests at heart.
Unfortunately, scientists now know that foods containing dyes, preservatives, excessive salt content, hydrogenated oils, and extreme amounts of sugar have altered our cellular chemistry.
A large majority of the population is now feeling the effects of decades of “food abuse.”
At the heart of the sharp rise of serious disease is obesity. It’s no accident that we’re now heavier and sicker than ever before in human history.
Probiotic Benefits and Weight Loss
Probiotics are fermented foods that encourage your body to produce specific enzymes and bile that aids in breaking down your food properly. They raise your absorption of nutrients to provide the fuel for your bodily functions.Probiotics raise your absorption of nutrients to provide the fuel for your bodily functions.Click To Tweet
In a healthy gut, there are more than 1,000 distinct species of gut flora that destroy bad bacteria and process the foods you eat.
Those who are overweight and obese have different species of bacteria than those who maintain a healthy body weight, according to a study released by Stanford University.
To lose weight – particularly stubborn belly fat – you should consider adding foods that contain live cultures of Lactobacillus gasseri. Of all the probiotics researched, this one in particular has shown the best (and most consistent) results in weight loss.
A Japanese study reported that obese adults who consumed Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks lost an average 8.5% of their belly fat. Those who stopped taking the probiotic at the end of the study regained the weight in about a month.
Before you add a probiotic supplement, do your research! Some investigations have shown that some supplements don’t contain the amount of good gut bacteria that is claimed on the labels.
The easiest (and least expensive) option is always food. Your body recognizes the compounds in food and is able to utilize them more completely than it can synthetic options.
5 Best Foods for Maximum Probiotic Benefits
- Microalgae such as spirulina and chlorella
- Yogurt with live cultures (including kefir)
- Fermented cabbage such as kimchi or sauerkraut
- Miso soup (popular in Japanese cuisine)
- Dark chocolate infused with probiotics
Other significant benefits of probiotics are an improved immune system, better digestion, lower risk of auto-immune disease, improved allergen response, and lower risk of food-borne illness.
It’s time to add some good gut flora to your diet. Your body (and your waistline) will thank you.