What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 5-Unhealthy gut

The gut flora helps the digestive process and produces vitamins B and K which our bodies can then use. They also help neutralise the toxic by products of digestion. More recently however we have come to realise that the gut flora can influence the way we store fat, our blood sugar levels and how we respond to leptin and ghrelin which we discussed a couple of weeks ago. For my blog post on leptin and ghrelin please see my blog post on sleep and weight below. Exactly how they exert this influence is still the subject of research but one thing is clear - the greater the diversity of the gut flora the better it is for our wellbeing and our weight.  

To some extent our gut flora is influenced by our genes but we can do a great deal to influence gut diversity through our diet. Our diet should be low in saturated and transfats but high in soluble and insoluble fibre. Avoiding sugar and alcohol will help ensure that a yeast, Candida albacans does not proliferate - this can cause intolerances which lead to inflammation which we know can affect weight.  Please see 'Tired all the time -could it be candida?' -
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/tired-all-time-could-it-be-candida.html For my blog post on how inflammation affects weight please see the link below.

Antibiotics can also cause proliferation of candida by killing the 'good' bacteria that keep them in check.  If you do have to take antibiotics I would recommend you also have probiotics but don't take them at the same time.  

Apart from tweaks to your diet and probiotics, you can increase your gut flora by eating prebioic foods such as onions, leeks, garlic, bananas etc.  

I would also recommend probiotic fermented foods such as coconut kefir - you can make your own with coconut water or milk  and a kefir starter culture (this will come with instructions).  There are also commercially available ones - just make sure the one you buy is sugar free.  Other fermented foods include saukraut, miso, non-dairy coconut yogurt and vegan kimchi.

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