New book The Skinny Gut Diet reveals the missing piece of the puzzle – the secret to losing weight and keeping it off.
Author Brenda Watson, a health expert and nutritional consultant, calls it “The Gut Factor”. She says that with improved digestion comes a stronger immune system and even a better mood.
Brenda says that a healthy gut is the foundation for total body health, and that if your digestion is not functioning as it should be, it can affect many different systems of the body, including the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Here are five other reasons why gut health is so important, believes Brenda:
1. People with a healthy gut have fewer cravings
In her book, Brenda states that while you may think you lack control in your cravings for carbs and sugars it is in fact more likely that your microbes are actually exerting their willpower—over you. Brenda also notes that bacteria actually feed on sugars, using them as a fuel source to thrive. “Researchers say that our bacteria may be capable of manipulating our behavior and our appetite in order to obtain more of the sugars they thrive on.”
2. An imbalanced gut might be what’s keeping you in the bathroom stall
According to Brenda if making a trip to the bathroom is not a pleasant experience for you it could also be due to your gut health. She states that when the gut bacteria are out of balance, conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea can develop. “Gut bacteria help to control bowel motility, or the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract. When gut motility is too slow, constipation results. When it is too fast, diarrhea is experienced.”
3. Taking probiotics for better digestion and gut health can help with your stress levels
Brenda says probiotics, such as yoghurt, are good at fighting off stress. “Stress not only depletes your beneficial bacteria, but it also triggers inflammation and a disturbance of the intestinal lining, which increases the amount of toxins in circulation,” she says. Probiotics help decrease the bacteria toxins in circulation and prevent intestinal lining destruction. You can introduce more probiotics into your diet by taking supplements, regularly eating kefir yoghurt or jumping on the fermented food train. Foods such as kimchi, kombucha or sauerkraut are great examples.
4. Bad gut bacteria can cause you to store extra fat
“Bad gut bacteria thrive on diets high in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats”, explains Brenda. “In response to this food, they create toxins that damage the intestinal lining, trigger inflammation, and lead to an increased storage of fat,”(thanks for that gut!) So basically, keep your gut full of healthy bacteria and it won’t store extra fat for you!
5. Eighty percent of the body’s immune system is in the gut
“When you think of immune health, you probably envision being stuffed up with a cold or run down with the flu”. People don’t often think of digestion when they think of their immune system. Brenda explains that your gut microbes educate your immune system. “If microbes are made up of the right kind of bacteria, your bacteria will school your immune system so that it makes peace with the food you eat, the occasional pathogens you harbor, and the toxins you ingest.”
The Skinny Gut Diet gives us three very simple rules to live by…
Rule #1: Eat more fat (healthy fat) to reduce silent inflammation
Healthy fats include coconuts, sardines, olives, almonds, walnuts etc. Try introducing these healthy fats into your diet and feel the difference.
Rule #2: Eat living foods every day to balance your gut
Living foods include fermented foods, non-starchy vegetables , low-sugar fruits and yoghurt.
Rule #3 Eat protein at every meal and with every snack to eliminate cravings
Think meats, fish, eggs, tofu, hummus, nuts & seeds etc.