The benefits of probiotic foods and supplements on gastrointestinal health have been promoted widely over the last several years. Probiotics were a significant component in our diets until the development of refrigeration. They have, until recently, largely disappeared from our diets. That has changed with the proliferation of probiotic supplements and a resurgence in fermented foods.
Probiotics Supercharge Weight Loss –
As a majority of the studies related to probiotics have focused on GI health, impact on weight loss has not been conclusively confirmed in individual studies. That changed with a recent publication in The International Journal of Food Science.
Researchers looked at the effect of probiotic consumption on the BMI of study participants across 25 independent studies. Their conclusion is that probiotics do in fact to help overweight people lose weight when consumed over a long period of time (>8 weeks). They also noted the effect was more pronounced when more distinct species of probiotics were consumed by study subjects.
They deduce that introducing multiple probiotics into your diet can lead to a healthier digestive system which has been shown to result in lowered appetite and increased the feeling of fullness after eating. So these little organisms help to supercharge weight loss by reinforcing good eating habits.
How can I take advantage of these little superchargers?
As a consumer, we now have more options than ever to incorporate probiotics into our diets. Supplements are readily available and are may be taken by both adults and children. Most of these supplements introduce many species of probiotics, but you should compare your options and seek out supplements with the most variety.
Another great source of probiotics is fermented foods. These foods have made a comeback recently. Prior to refrigeration, fermentation was how previous generations preserved their foods but in the last several decades, these foods fell out of favor limiting our ingestion of these powerful probiotic sources.
Yogurts with live active cultures are the most readily available form of probiotic food and greek yogurt is a great source of healthy protein as well. To ensure you are getting the probiotic benefit, make sure you check the packaging to confirm the product contains live active cultures.
Similar to yogurt, Kefir is a fermented dairy product that has become popular and is fairly easy to find. There are a multitude of different flavored options and these are all great additions to smoothies in place of yogurt for a tart punch.
Another live fermented product growing in popularity and availability is kombucha. Kombucha is a tangy fermented tea that you may find in the organic section of refrigerated foods in larger or upscale grocery stores. As with yogurt, make sure the Kombucha contains the live cultures and has not been pasteurized or otherwise preserved to kill off the active probiotics. Kombucha is a fairly expensive beverage, but if you find that you enjoy it, you can make it yourself rather simply at home.
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