When it comes to losing weight, the bacteria in the stomach play a very important role. Additionally, foods that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut can improve overall health by regulating hormones and by extension, mood. There are two categories of foods which are responsible for boosting populations of healthy bacteria in the gut – probiotics and prebiotics. A sufficiently large body of research has concluded that including both these types of foods in your diet can be beneficial for you, particularly when it comes to promoting weight management. Probiotics are foods that fight to enhance the colonies of good bacteria in your gut, while prebiotics provide the ideal environment so that the existent bacteria are able to derive nourishment to survive.
Prebiotics are said to be non-digestible carbohydrates, which are used up by the gut microbiota and are usually present in foods that are rich in fibre. Both probiotic foods and prebiotics complement each other and help the good bacteria to flourish in your gut. They stay in the gut much longer than probiotics, as they are not digested by the gastrointestinal tract. Several studies have concluded that they play a more significant role in weight loss than probiotics. Let’s look at how exactly prebiotics help in weight loss and how you can include more prebiotics in your daily diet.
Prebiotics For Weight Loss
A healthy and diverse microbiome is the key to maintaining a healthy metabolism, and hence, gaining control over your weight. According to a Harvard University blog, gut bacteria facilitate weight loss by taking an active part in our digestion process and the nature of the bacteria in your gut determines how well or poorly the food is absorbed in your body. The role of gut bacteria in weight loss isn’t very well established but some studies have indeed found a link between the two. Some experts have argued that prebiotics are even better than probiotics in promoting weight loss.
An October 2014 study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, suggested that prebiotic fibre can help absorb intestinal fat, and hence, may be used as an effective way of bringing about weight loss. The study said the prebiotic fibre may hinder absorption of calories into the blood stream, thus, hampering weight gain. Another study conducted in September 2017 and published in the journal Gastroenterology looked at the link between body fat in obese kids and consumption of prebiotics and it also had favourable things to say about the role of prebiotics in reducing body fat.
Some common prebiotic foods that you can include in your daily weight loss diet include onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks, artichokes, bananas etc. Consult your nutritionist to understand prebiotics better and for effective tips to include them in your diet.