Do you struggle to lose that stubborn belly fat? New research on gut microbes shows promise
for fighting both obesity and heart disease. Scientists have discovered that there is a strong link between a lack of gut microbe diversity, obesity, artery hardening, and heart disease. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to boost the beneficial probiotic microbes in your gut that will enable you to lose weight naturally and improve your heart health.
Good health begins in the gut
Scientists have been studying the gut microbiome for years, seeking to determine what impact it had on our health. Three recent clinical studies have provided a definitive answer: Good health begins in your gut. If you want to improve your health, you start by improving your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome consists of the bacteria that live in your intestines. There are both good and bad bacteria in your gut. Those microbes are constantly at war with each other. What we now know is there are simple things you can do to help the good microbes beat the bad ones and flourish in your gut:
- High fiber diet
- Alkaline water
A high fiber diet is known to improve the quality and diversity of the microbes in your gut. The recommended amount of fiber for women under 50 is 25 grams, the recommended amount of fiber for men under 50 is 38 grams. Older people need less fiber, women over 50 need 21 grams, men need 30 grams. If you know which foods are high in fiber, it’s easy to get your recommended amount.
Foods high in fiber
Whole wheat pasta
|16.3 grams per cup, cooked.|
15.6 grams per cup, cooked
13.2 grams per cup, cooked
10.3 grams per cup, cooked
8.8 grams per cup, cooked
5.1 grams per cup, boiled
4.1 grams per cup, boiled
8.0 grams per cup, raw
6.7 grams per cup, raw
5.5 grams per cup, raw
7.0 grams per cup, raw
6.3 grams per cup, cooked
6.0 grams per cup, cooked
6.0 grams per cup, cooked
4.0 grams per cup
3.8 grams per two tablespoons
5.5 grams per tablespoon
Antioxidant alkaline water supports the healthy probiotic microbes in your gut. Those beneficial microbes prefer an antioxidant environment. The harmful microbes prefer an oxidative environment. Antioxidant alkaline water from a water ionizer has high antioxidant potential. Drinking antioxidant alkaline water with high antioxidant potential helps create an antioxidant environment in your gut. It is important to note that bottled alkaline water does not have any antioxidant potential. You can’t get the gut health benefits discussed in this article by drinking bottled alkaline water, you must use a water ionizer to make antioxidant alkaline water!
For best results, plan to drink at least 2 liters of alkaline water per day. A water ionizer is the best way to get 2 liters of antioxidant alkaline water per day because it is the most economical way and the machine gives you higher antioxidant potential than you could get from any other method of making alkaline water.
Other reasons for avoiding bottled alkaline water. Besides the fact that it has no antioxidant potential, there are two other problems with bottled alkaline water: BPA and antimony. BPA is a potent hormone disruptor that leeches from the plastic resin the bottle is made of. It can be very harmful to pregnant mothers and the babies of mothers that nurse their children. Antimony is a heavy metal and carcinogen. Alkaline water literally draws it out of the plastic resin the bottle is made of. Because of that, the problem of antimony contamination is worse for bottled alkaline water than it is for regular bottled water.
11 Super healthy probiotic foods
Probiotics are live microbes that will increase the biodiversity of the beneficial microbes in your gut. You can get probiotics from supplements and from foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Eating yogurt has been associated with health benefits: Improved bone health, reduced blood pressure, and it may even help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Beware of the fact that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. Make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures. It will tell you on the label.
Kefir is actually a better source of probiotics than yogurt. It is a fermented probiotic milk drink. Kefir has been linked to these health benefits: Better bone health, better digestive health, and it protects against some infections. Kefir is well tolerated by lactose intolerant people.
Sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics, it’s rich in fiber, and vitamins C, B, and K. Unfortunately it’s also high in sodium, so watch your salt intake. Sauerkraut also contains antioxidants that are good for eyesight. Make sure you get unpasteurized sauerkraut because pasteurization kills the probiotic microbes in it.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, it is often used by vegetarians as a high-protein meat substitute. It has a nutty, earthy flavor similar to mushrooms. The fermentation process removes one of the biggest disadvantages of eating soy: Normally soy binds minerals like iron and zinc. Fermentation lowers the amount of phytic acid, which is responsible for binding minerals. It also produces Vitamin B12, which isn’t normally found in soy. Since B12 is mainly found in animal products, fermentation makes tempeh an excellent dietary choice for vegans and vegetarians.
Kimchi is usually made with cabbage but can be made with other vegetables. When it is made from cabbage, kimchi is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin B2, and iron. Kimchi is beneficial for digestive health.
Miso is a popular Japanese seasoning that is often used to make a soup. It is made by fermenting soybeans with a fungus called koji. Miso is a good source of protein and fiber, it is also rich in several vitamins and minerals. Some studies have reported that consuming miso soup lowers the risk of breast cancer and stroke in women.
Pickles are a great source of probiotics and may benefit digestive health. They are low in calories and have lots of Vitamin K, but they also contain high amounts of sodium. Avoid pickles made with vinegar, they don’t contain live probiotics.
Traditional buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. It’s important to note that there are two types of buttermilk: Traditional and cultured. Cultured buttermilk does not contain probiotics. Traditional buttermilk is low in fat and calories, and high in several important vitamins and minerals.
Natto is a fermented soybean food similar to tempeh and miso. It is rich in protein and Vitamin K2. A study done on elderly Japanese men showed that consuming natto on a regular basis is associated with higher bone density.
Some types of cheese including gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese contain probiotics. Cheese is highly nutritious, it’s a very good source of protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. When consumed in moderate amounts, cheese may lower your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
Exercise alone can have a significant impact on your gut microbiota. It causes an increase in the gut microbes that help produce short-chain fatty acids. Those short-chain fatty acids reduce your risk of inflammatory diseases as well as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. If you stop exercising, those benefits will reverse themselves in about six weeks. Moderate exercise helps a lot, you only need about 30 minutes per day, three times per week. But if you train at high intensity, the benefits are even greater.
Fighting Obesity and Heart Disease Naturally
By simply changing your diet, drinking alkaline water, and getting enough exercise, you stand your best chance at preventing obesity and heart disease. If you are already obese or have heart disease, following the guidelines in this article could still help you. But it is very important that you talk to your doctor first. Some of the foods discussed in this article may interfere with medications that you are on. If you are on medication, it is very important that you not take them with alkaline water. It can cause your body to absorb medicine faster than it is intended to be absorbed. That can happen because alkaline water hydrates faster and more thoroughly than plain water. Obesity and heart disease are at epidemic levels in both the US and Europe. There are no cures for either, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. The right foods, water, and plenty of exercise can do a lot for your health.
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Cristina Menni et al. Gut microbial diversity is associated with lower arterial stiffness in women,
European Heart Journal (2018). DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehy226
Jonas Zierer et al, The fecal metabolome as a functional readout of the gut microbiome, Nature
Genetics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0135-7
Abraham, Guy, and Jorge Flebas. “The effect of daily consumption of 2 liters of
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