It’s considered common knowledge: Eating foods in their natural state is the healthiest way to get all those yummy nutrients. But let’s be realistic. It’s a struggle to consistently have all the organic fresh fruits and veggies on hand to provide the right nutritional balance. Modern conveniences have changed how we consume food and, in turn, the ease of eating has made us fat.
But thanks to a modern day twist on a natural supplement, fighting weight gain might be easier than you think.
An Obesity Epidemic
It’s a sad statistic that one-third of all adults in the United States are obese. However, tipping the scale a little too far isn’t the only problem. Obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer – most of which are all preventable causes of death.
Convenience foods make it easy for us to fill up while we run to work, take our kids to school, and try to find time in between to care for the home and socialize. Our bodies are meant to store fat to help in times of famine, such as when our ancestors had to plan, hunt and gather food in fear of where the next opportunity might come. And while our bodies still work in this manner, modern day practices don’t. We don’t have to hunt our meals thanks to the convenience of the drive-thru.
Some of us really try to take care of our bodies. We exercise. We eat right. But it’s not always easy.
If we’re going to fight the natural way our bodies hold on to fat, maybe we should do it in a natural way. Prebiotics are plant fibers that nourish the good bacteria already found in your body. Think of the fibers as a fertilizer that help good bacteria in your belly grow. The more good bacteria you have, the better your body can digest your food to get the most nutrients.
Don’t mistake prebiotics with probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria found in dairy products that help you manage gastrointestinal issues. Prebiotics, found in plant fiber, helps replenish and strengthen the good bacteria in your bowel wall.
Your colon is a factory for bacteria. But don’t worry — that’s actually a good thing. The good bacteria, if fed properly with fiber, will provide a list of health benefits, including helping colon cells maintain their own health, decrease dangerous bacteria, increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium, control blood sugar and even help with aging, appetite control and weight loss.
How Prebiotics Help Weight Management
A recent study found that lab mice that lacked a protein called TLR5 had an abundance of bad bacteria in their digestive tracks. The increase in bad bacteria led to inflammation, which caused the mice to eat more and have insulin intolerance. The mice ate about 10 percent more food than their healthier neighbors, but it wasn’t because they were hungrier. Their metabolism was damaged thanks to a lack of good bacteria in their bodies.
We don’t have to suffer the same fate. Science has made it simple for us to help good bacteria grow, balancing our digestive system so that it works for our benefit. Keeping your stomach happy can be as easy as adding prebiotics, or the necessary food for good bacteria to thrive, to your everyday diet.
How Can I Add Prebiotics to My Diet?
Prebiotic fiber is found in various fruits and vegetables. These include:
- Apple skins
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Chicory root
You already eat most of those, right? Maybe so, but the amount of prebiotic fiber found in a single serving – sometimes as little as 1 to 2 grams – is far from the recommended 25 grams a person should consume each day.
Thankfully, modern technology now makes it easier to consume prebiotic fibers by extracting the good stuff from plants and using it as a supplement that’s nearly tasteless. You can now easily add prebiotics to your diet by stirring it in hot or cold drinks, your morning oatmeal or any other food.
Adding prebiotics to your diet can produce almost immediate results. Many people report a decreased appetite and a sense of fullness thanks to the added fiber. Next time you’re worried about the inner workings of your digestive system, help make it happy with the right nutrients to balance it out — and maybe lose weight in the process.