It takes guts to lose weight. Literally. A recent review of existing research, published in International Dairy Journal, acknowledged that there is significant evidence that the bacterial populations in the intestines of obese people differ from that of lean people and that consuming certain compounds can ensure that you have lots of those “lean” bacteria.
Those compounds are called prebiotics. Unlike probiotics, which are bacterial cultures, prebiotics are usually carbohydrates that the body can’t digest but that serve as food for the bacteria already in the intestines. Supplying this food helps those lean bacterial cultures flourish, and those cultures then influence hormones associated with hunger — decreasing those that boost hunger and increasing those that blunt hunger. They also keep blood glucose levels lower, which reduces insulin levels, which means the body will store less fat and burn more fat. Look for products, like BodyTech’s Miracle Fiber, that include prebiotics like inulin or oligofructose.
Research out of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, found that almond skins increase the amount of various gut microbes, such as bifidobacteria — which is known to enhance the immune system and ward off infections. According to the report published in the March 2010 issue of Microbiology Letters, almond skins have a high amount of fiber, which gives them their prebiotic effect and provides the body with energy through the digestive processes of fermentation and absorption.