Boost Weight Loss Naturally
Guess which natural food helps you lose weight? It’s not the latest exotic superfruit. And it doesn’t come in a pill (or, at least, it shouldn’t). It’s not even particularly expensive. I’m talking about dietary fiber. Not the most exciting topic, I know. But fiber deserves a new look.
Even though some dietary fiber is technically indigestible, it’s actually health food for certain beneficial bacteria living in the gut. Of course, by now just about everyone is aware that the mixture of bacteria species living in the gut make up the gut microbiome. And most of us know that a healthy gut microbiome can have an important influence on the strength of the immune system, among other beneficial effects.
But you may not know that every time you eat or drink you influence the overall quality of your own gut microbiome. Think of your gut as an apartment complex that you own, where the tenants also work in your factory. The best-quality tenants will work hard, always pay the rent on time, and maintain the property to the highest standards. In exchange, you’ll repay their labors with top wages: the highest-quality food consisting of whole plants, which will supply plenty of delicious and nutritious dietary fiber.
If you decide to cut corners and pay your tenant workers in junk food—featuring lots of simple carbohydrates (sugars), and relatively little fiber—eventually the higher-quality tenants will pack their bags and move away. Lower-class tenants will quickly replace them, though. These slouches will work for sugar. But they won’t give much back in return. In fact, they’ll go to work making changes that result in you storing more fat—and gaining weight. The more you gain, the more you’ll crave the cheap junk food these laggard bacteria crave…and so on.
The most beneficial bacteria love lots of fiber. We’re talking beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, quinoa, fruit, herbs—pretty much anything edible from the plant kingdom. Not only do higher-fiber foods make you feel fuller faster, but they also encourage the growth of bacteria that will work to keep you slim. Recent research suggests that it’s important to make better eating a daily practice, though, because the highest-quality tenants are pretty picky. Deprive them of whole plant foods at your peril. You wouldn’t want them moving out and leaving a “For Rent” sign, would you? You never know who else might move in.
H. D. Holscher, J. G. Caporaso, S. Hooda, J. M. Brulc, G. C. Fahey, K. S. Swanson. Fiber supplementation influences phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of the human intestinal microbiome: follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014; DOI: 10.3945/%u200Bajcn.114.092064