5 Hidden Causes That Could Be Making You Fat: Part 2
Poor Gut Health
This is Part 2 of 5 in the series: 5 Hidden Causes That Could Be Making You Fat.
If you missed Part 1: Low Vitamin D Levels, you can check it out HERE.
We will be discussing Part 3-5 in the upcoming weeks. Don’t miss it!
Restoring a healthy balance of microbes in your gut may be a key factor in reaching your ideal weight. Research reveals a connection between obesity and gut dysbiosis (imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut).
Our gut contains 10 times more bacteria than human cells…crazy…huh? We are essentially more bacteria than we are human! More and more evidence is pointing to the important of having a balance of the “good” and “bad” microbes in our gut. Research suggests that gut bacteria plays a role in how we store fat, how well our metabolism functions and how easy it is for us to lose weight.
This gut dysbiosis or imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria can lead to intestinal permeability or “leaky gut”. I’ve talked in previous articles about how a leaky gut is often “the gateway to chronic disease”. Increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut causes unwanted particles and toxins in the digestive tract to enter the bloodstream where they don’t belong, wreaking havoc on the immune system and creating inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying factor in all disease, including obesity.
Things that cause a leaky gut include processed food, grains, sugar, stress, and excessive medication use.
If you are overweight or looking to restore gut health….address the dietary components that effect gut health by getting rid of processed foods, toxic fats, sugar and eating a nutrient-dense, whole foods, Paleo Diet.
There are also many nutrient deficiencies associated with leaky gut, one of those being vitamin D, which we just discussed in Part 1! Vitamin D is a key nutrient in maintaining the intestinal barrier, stimulating renewal of the intestinal lining and helping to resist damage (another good reason to get you levels checked!) Other common nutrient deficiencies include vitamin A, zinc, magnesium and calcium. Incorporating foods in your diet rich in these nutrients is important.
I also recommend learning to implement effective stress relieving strategies. Some of my favorites: meditation/prayer, walks in nature, yoga, essential oils.
Incorporate quality probiotic and prebiotic rich foods (raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.) or via supplementation to improve the balance of gut bacteria, and avoid overuse of antibiotics if possible. I’ve been able to avoid antibiotic usage for 6-7 years now by using high quality essential oils. (If you want more information on this you can email me at email@example.com.)
Incorporate homemade bone broth in your diet. Bone broths contains gelatin which heals and nourishes our cartilage, bones, skin, arteries as well as our digestive tract and various other tissues of the body. The gelatin component of the bone broth is helpful in healing and sealing the intestinal tract.
Beyond this…implement a gut healing and balancing program. It is ideal to work with a functional nutrition or functional medicine practitioner that can create an individualized program that is ideal for you. In order to completely heal the gut, there are often the presence of various infections, parasites, and heavy metals that may need to be addressed before the gut can completely heal. This is why it is best to work with a professional that can help you with this process. Another option for those that aren’t able to see a practitioner in person, is an online gut healing program offered by the folks at SCD Lifestyle.
Blessings in Health!
Brenda Walding, DPT, FDN