Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Gut Power, You've GOT IT- To Get or Keep Your Gut Lean! By Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD, Certified Health & Wellness Coach


Gut Power! #HealthyGut #LeanGut Just by choosing certain foods, you can make an impact on the health of your gut and in turn help reduce body fat.  A healthy microflora promotes a lean body!  Everybody has a microbiome, made up of 100 trillion bacteria (microorganisms), which equate to about three pounds worth, lining the intestinal tract.  The way our microbiomes respond to what we eat can vary.  A poor mix of microbes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract has been linked to obesity, possibly promoting weight gain. 




        Carbohydrates, for example have gotten a “bad rep” as being unhealthy and fat promoting, but in actuality having some high fiber carbs are beneficial for improving our gut health.  Include some
starchy vegetables in your day as your high fiber carb, such as a baked yam, ½ cup winter squash, sugar snap peas, quinoa, or an artichoke, to have a positive effect on the amount of probiotics (friendly bacteria) in your GI tract (gut).  
        Actually eating too little carbs, can decrease the amount of beneficial bacteria, such as the important health promoting Bifidobacteria.  Aim to eat veggies and fruit twice per day (veggies with lunch, dinner and fruit at your snacks) to increase your fiber and antioxidant intake, helping strengthen the GI tract and nourish overall digestive health.  Add those light green, dark green and yellow colored vegetables, e.g., zucchini, chard, kale, yellow summer squash.  
        In addition to eating organic high fiber carbohydrates, fermented foods also help improve the overall beneficial microflora balance.  Add yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, chutney, sourdough bread and kombuchu tea into your week.
        Eating predominately vegetarian, plant-based protein foods, including beans, shelled hemp seeds, nuts and seeds, rather than mostly animal products, has been associated with reducing the particular microbes that are correlated with obesity. 

      Also eat the food that nourishes the natural growth of probiotics, called prebiotics, which is an excellent source of soluble fiber, found in foods including bananas, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, honey, leeks and onions.  Food products with prebiotics most often contain inulin (a natural source of soluble dietary fiber extracted from chicory root) that is added in yogurt, kefir, & multigrain crackers.
        Lastly, eat a variety of foods and MOVE to promote a more diverse microbiome, which contributes to leanness!  Choose a rainbow of organic, whole food based colors when you’re at the grocery store and dining out.  Change up your fruit and vegetable choices on a weekly basis and schedule that exercise time in your day, for a healthful diverse microbiome environment!  


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