The Best Strains of Probiotics for Weight Loss: Supplement & Food Tips
6 minute read
Whether you take probiotics or not, you are likely aware of the role they play in keeping your gut balanced. By ensuring that your gut does not become overrun with pathogenic bacterial strains, probiotics maintain optimal digestion and prevent common digestive ailments such as diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Because a large portion of your immune system resides in your gut, this balance also helps to promote overall health. However, what you may not know about are the ways in which probiotics can aid in your weight loss efforts. That said, not all probiotics are the same, and you want the right strains to give you the optimal boost.
Probiotics and Weight Loss
Probiotics can help support weight loss by preventing inflammation. Chronic inflammation can result from an unhealthy gut, specifically a gut that is out of balance and favors harmful strains.
Harmful bacteria that thrives on sugars and fat cause inflammation, which weakens and damages your intestinal walls. When this happens, tears in your gut lining develop, known as leaky gut syndrome. Toxins are then free to move about the body after “leaking” through, triggering further inflammation.
Inflammation and the storage of fat cells have a longstanding relationship and both contribute to the existence of the other. Inflammation interferes with your metabolism in a way that promotes fat storage while fat cells release inflammatory chemicals to further perpetuate inflammation in your body.
The only way to break the cycle is to prevent inflammation and work on reducing fat storage. Both can be achieved with a combination of exercise, probiotic support, and a balanced diet.
Probiotics have become popular in recent years as studies continue to uncover the many benefits they have for your health. While they primarily support gut health and digestion, the benefits of a healthy gut extend far beyond your digestive tract. With regular probiotic support, your gut will flourish and you will notice many other benefits to your overall health.
♦ You will have more energy because healthy bacteria promote optimal nutrient absorption and more efficient metabolism.
♦ Your brain will be healthier and happier because happy gut bacteria release serotonin. This hormone promotes a happy feeling and elevated levels fight depression and anxiety.
♦ Your immune system will function more efficiently. Much of your immune system relies on the bacteria in your gut and when they are balanced and happy, there is less inflammation and therefore less risk for illness and disease.
♦ Your cholesterol levels will improve with a healthy gut because beneficial bacteria promote more efficient metabolism of triglycerides which reduces total cholesterol levels in your blood.
♦ You can lose weight more easily as a result of reduced inflammation which triggers fat storage.
The Best Probiotics For Your Weight
The battle between good and bad bacteria is ongoing. Certain foods in your diet such as processed foods and high-fat or high-sugar foods allow bad bacteria to thrive. In addition to this, overuse of antibiotics can kill off helpful bacteria which also allows for imbalance. Understanding how good and bad bacteria compete is key to understanding how they affect your weight.
Certain stains of the Lactobacillus family have been found to help with weight loss and reducing belly fat. When your gut has more of these bacterial strains as compared to harmful strains, you stand a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight.
With the balance tipping in the other direction and more resources (such as high fat and sugar diets) made available for harmful strains, you weight can increase as can fat storage around the abdomen.
The specific strains to look for on the label of a probiotics supplement are:
♦ L. rhamnosus
♦ L. gasseri
♦ L. fermentum
♦ L. amylovorus
The benefits of the Lactobacillus family lie in their ability to survive the digestive gauntlet, so they get the opportunity to thrive within your gut. In addition to this, they have been found to directly impact your metabolism resulting in a reduction in fat absorption.
With more fat being excreted and less absorbed into the bloodstream, there is less to put into storage should it not be converted to energy.
A probiotic supplement that contains Lactobacillus strains will, therefore, benefit your gut and your waistline. This bacterial family also happens to be the most commonly used bacteria for fermentation. This means that most fermented foods will contain plenty of the beneficial bacteria, so you can get what you need from more natural sources.
| Related: The 5 Best Probiotic Foods You’ve Never Heard Of |
The fermented foods that you should consider trying include:
♦ Fermented meats such as salami and chorizo
♦ Yogurt, specifically natural and organic versions without added sugars
♦ Pickled vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi
♦ Ideally, you want to consume more fermented foods that contain the Lactobacillus bacteria or ensure that you get a supplement that contains this beneficial family.
The Bottom Line
Weight gain is a problem that many people suffer with. The unhealthy Western diet is a major contributor to our health problems, especially weight gain.
You are what you eat, so it is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. It is also important to maintain the health of your gut, which is where probiotics come into play. A healthy and happy gut promotes optimal internal health, and a healthy body knows exactly how to get rid of unwanted fat.