The gut flora contains over a hundred trillion bacteria, and maintaining a healthy gut flora is critical for our general health. Surprisingly, a variety of dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors can have an impact on gut microbes. Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria are the four kinds of bacteria found in the gut. Each group has a particular role in our health and requires various nutrients.
Gut bacteria are essential for digestion because they eliminate pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms while also producing vitamin K, folate, and short-chain fatty acids. Insulin resistance, weight gain, inflammation, obesity, inflammatory bowl disease, and colorectal cancer have all been linked to a reduction in gut flora diversity. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dt. Ashish Rani, Consultant- Nutrition And Dietetics, HCMCT manipal Hospitals Dwarka New Delhi, about gut bacteria losing weight and some ways that can help in improving.
How can gut bacteria help in losing weight?
The way food is digested affects body weight. Because the bacteria in the gut are in sync with the intestine. Because these bacteria come into contact with the food we eat, they may have an impact on the nutrients we absorb and how energy is stored in our bodies. Humans, for example, are unable to digest fibre, while certain gut bacteria are capable of doing so. These bacteria in the gut create a variety of compounds that are beneficial to gut health and weight loss. Our gut bacteria also breakdown flavonoids, which are antioxidants present in plants and assist to reduce weight gain.
Two gut bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta, have been linked to weight loss and are hence considered beneficial bacteria. A. Muciniphila feeds on the mucus that covers our intestines, leading it to create more mucus and strengthen the barrier between our intestines. These bacteria also create acetate and short-chain fatty acids, which contribute in the control of body fat reserves and appetite.
Ways to improve gut health
According to Dt. Ashish, here are 3 ways to improve gut health:
Prebiotic meals that fuel the activity of A. Muciniphila can be employed to boost their numbers. We can certainly eat some of these, but increasing our intake may aid in the growth of A. muciniphila in our gut and improve our resistance to obesity foods to increase A. Muciniphila Christenesenella is linked to our genetic composition, thus it affects us in some way.
Gut flora relies heavily on probiotics. A diversified gut flora can be achieved by eating a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Prebiotic fiber-rich foods, such as onions, almonds, garlic asparagus, oats, bananas, legumes, and so on, can help to boost the number of beneficial gut bacteria. Yogurt, yakult, kimchi, kefir, and tempeh, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha are examples of fermented foods (fermented black or green tea drink). Foods high in polyphenols, such as blueberries, red wine, dark chocolate, and green tea, are also beneficial to gut health when combined with probiotics, but should not be consumed in excess.
3. Other factors
Other factors that contribute to greater gut health include getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, and drinking enough water. When you combine a well-balanced, nutritious diet with regular exercise, you'll create a favourable environment for gut bacteria to flourish, which will aid in weight loss.