Some people might find belly fat cute and squishy. But it can be a sign of a serious health risk such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even cancer.
A lot of people struggle to get rid of belly fat and may have tried anything from doing various diets to following a serious exercise regime. But did you know that just by consuming certain probiotics, you can eliminate this problem once and for all?
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are considered “good” bacteria because they fight harmful ones and help the body function properly.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in sufficient amounts, will give you tons of health benefits, specifically for your digestive system. They can be found in supplements or from fermented foods.
Here are two common probiotic species that are beneficial to your body.
- Lactobacillus: This is one of the most common and easiest to find. You can get this from fermented foods like yogurt. This bacteria is also good for people who are lactose intolerant because lactobacillus produces lactase, an enzyme that tears down lactose.
- Bifidobacterium: This can be found in some dairy products and supplements. It helps your body in digestion and fights harmful bacteria in the intestine. This bacteria supports the immune system as well.
Now that you know what probiotics are and their types, it’s also important to know the strains. These are the subtypes of the species and they all have different effects once consumed.
When looking for the probiotic strains in labels, they are listed together with the abbreviated probiotic species. Example: L. Brevis.
Here are five examples of probiotic strains and their benefits to your body.
- L. Acidophilus: Found in the small intestine and the vagina, this strain aids in digestion and prevents harmful vaginal bacteria. You can find this strain naturally in fermented foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, and tempeh.
- B. Longum: This strain is present in the human gastrointestinal tract. It helps boost immunity, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort.
- B. Breve: This strain fights off allergies, obesity, infection, and is great for the skin. It helps the body digest nutrients by fermenting sugar.
- L. Casei: Found in the human urinary tract and genital tract, it’s helpful in digestion. Without these good bacteria, it’s difficult to absorb nutrients and digest food.
- L. Plantarum: It is a helpful strain that attacks bad bacteria in our bodies. It also provides effective symptom relief, especially for abdominal pains and bloating in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics and Weight Loss
A good dose of good bacteria helps lose belly fat. In fact, some probiotic strains are considered effective in preventing weight gain.
A 4-week study where participants took VSL#3, revealed that weight gain was reduced. The probiotic formulation was consumed with a diet of 1000 calories per day. Study participants were overfed and yet the results showed reduced fat and weight gain.
So even with a high-calorie diet, the probiotic strain effectively prevented weight gain.
To understand better how probiotics can help you in losing weight, you must first learn about the two bacteria found in the gut. They are the Bacteroidetes aka the “good” one, and Firmicutes or the “bad” one.
According to Dr. Bulsiewicz, people who are lean or fit have a higher amount of bacteroidetes, while obese people have more of the firmicutes. He explains that “obese individuals carry gut microbes that are designed to efficiently extract the bad parts of our food, namely from fat and sugar, and the implication is that by modulating our gut flora to maximize bacteriodetes and minimize fermicutes, we can optimize healthy energy.”
In other words, by selecting the right bacteria, you can extract the good parts of the food and see changes in your body, especially in your target area: the belly.
The Lactobacillus Family’s Fat Loss Power
Based on studies conducted, eating food with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus lowers body fat by 3-4% over a six-week period.
In another study, 125 overweight women used Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements and were investigated on the effects during a 3-month research period. The women taking the probiotics shed off more than 50 percent of the weight in contrast to the group who didn’t take it, and they also continuously lost more weight during the maintenance stage of the study.
Lactobacillus gasseri is naturally found in your digestive and urinary tract. This probiotic by far is the most effective of all when it comes to losing belly fat.
A study conducted with 210 participants with belly fat problems showed that lactobacillus gasseri greatly helped reduced body weight, BMI, waist and hip size, and the fat surrounding the organs in a span of 12 weeks.
Aside from its amazing belly fat loss results, lactobacillus gasseri also helps the body attack harmful bacteria and, in exchange, enhances the immune system.
With this in mind, you should amp up your consumption of probiotics.
Super Healthy Probiotic Foods
Get as much of the health benefits of probiotics by consuming the following:
- Yogurt: Made from milk and fermented by friendly bacteria. It’s one of the best sources of probiotics.
- Kefir: Believed to have come from the Turkish word “keyif” which translates to “feeling good” after a meal, this fermented probiotic milk drink comes with various health benefits.
- Sauerkraut: Not only does it have probiotic qualities, but is also rich in vitamins B, C, and K and fiber.
- Tempeh: It’s the best choice for vegans who are looking for a nutritious probiotic to add to their diet.
- Miso: A Japanese seasoning that provides fiber and protein and is high in minerals, plant compounds, and vitamins.
Extra Tips on How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat
Now that you know how great probiotics are, it’s also important to remember that you need to consult a specialist such as a naturopathic doctor to guide you on your diet and always incorporate exercises into your daily routine.
For this purpose, you can use a macro calculator to counts the macronutrients and calories in your diet which is very helpful for you to make a very perfect diet plan.
To help speed up weight loss, combine exercise and a healthy diet with great, healthy supplements that are made for women and that target fat around your midsection to help you achieve the flat stomach you’ve always wanted.
Other ways that people use to lose weight quickly: the Carnivore and Keto diets. But what’s the difference? Check out this article from Carnivore Style for more.
[Personally, I don’t believe in the Carnivore Diet, so I’m not thrilled about this diet.]