“I always feel bloated” or “I want to lose weight in my midsection” are two quotes I literally hear on a daily basis. Everyone wants to lose weight in their stomach region. I hate to break it to you but like you’ve probably heard before, “Abs are made in the kitchen” couldn’t be a truer statement. But how? Everyone says food will help you lose weight in the mid-section, but no one ever really explains how. Yes, you eat healthy and whole foods but how does that work?
If you pay attention to everything you ate, your stomach will literally tell you if it likes it or not. Yet, we choose to ignore what our stomach says because we like the taste of food more than our own health. How backwards is that?!
Your stomach receives food from your esophagus and breaks it down to pass it along to your small intestine and onto your big intestine. I am not going to sit here and spit out science to you because, well, it will bore you and you probably won’t finish this article. Your pancreas makes a digestive juice made of enzymes that is fed into your small intestine to break down your carbs, fats, and protein. While your liver makes a difference kind of digestive juice that helps digest fats and some vitamins. Carbs are broken down into simple sugars, stored and used for energy, fats break down into fatty acids and glycerol, and protein is broken down into amino acids which are your building blocks for muscles. After breaking down, your body absorbs as many nutrients as it can for energy, growth and cell repair. So, what happens when you eat something that does not have a lot of beneficial nutrients? Well, your body can not properly break down the food or liquid and your body isn’t fed with the nutrients it needs to repair the cells and you do not get any energy from it. Hence the “sluggish” feeling after eating junk food or the “Wow, I feel so much better throughout the day after eating healthy!”
So how do I make sure I am getting what I need for proper digestion? This is where probiotics come into to play. However, we focus on the probiotics and we forget about the prebiotics. Wait, what? Yes, prebiotics! Just like when we take an iron pill with orange juice because we have an iron deficiency and the vitamin c helps absorb the iron better, we must be filling our bodies with prebiotics, so our probiotics can work the way they are supposed to! Probiotics are living organisms that help support our immune system and maintain our overall health. Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that provide nourishment for probiotics, much like fertilizer for a garden.
Why is it so important to we get pre and probiotics? Not only is our digestive system made up of a ton bacterium, our body is more microbial than anything else! So, without filling our body with pre and probiotics, we won’t be getting our proper functions like producing important vitamins and enzymes to regulating our digestion and metabolism, balancing our moods, and making sure our immune system functions to its fullest potential. However, these good bacteria and organisms are on a constant threat from antibiotics in our food and medicine, pesticides, overzealous hygiene habits, antibacterial cleaners, and toxins and contaminants in the environment. Stress and the aging process can even disturb the healthy balance in our gut. So the next time you want those bag of Lays chips, candy bar or packaged and processed food, just know that those extra additives are killing off the good bacteria in your gut causing a lot of imbalances.
Where can I get these pre and probiotics? I’m so glad you asked! Here are a list of foods that you can make sure to implement in your healthy lifestyle.
Probiotics (fermented food)
- Cultured vegetables (sauerkraut and kimchi)
- Coconut Kefir
- Yogurt or Greek Yogurt – not the processed kind like Trix or Go-Gurt (sorry to burst your bubble) but the organic, non- gmo, has LIVE BACTERIA in it
- Raw cheese- For the love of God NOT Velveeta
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Miso (like Miso Soup)
Prebiotics (type of fiber)
- Raw garlic
- Raw Leeks
- Raw and cooked onion
- Raw asparagus
- Baked Wheat flour
- Raw dandelion greens
Can you take a supplement? Yes, of course you can but just know that it is a synthetic version or the pre and probiotic and will not work like getting it from whole foods. There is also a risk of the extra toxic additive fillers they put in supplements. Just be sure to read the label.
The next time you want to enjoy a delicious Kombucha, have it with some vegetables to get the full benefit!
Have a happy gut!!!