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How to wean yourself off sugar and improve your gut health...

by , 02 November 2019
How to wean yourself off sugar and improve your gut health...
According to Dr Raphael Kellman, a New York City-based medical doctor and author of The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss, not being able to control your sweet tooth doesn't boil down to a matter of willpower, nor does it boil down to a matter of discipline. It's your gut microbiome that's to blame!

How an unbalanced microbiome can cause out-of-control sugar cravings...

Dr Kellman explains that if your microbiome is out of balance, your sugar cravings can feel like an alien force has taken over your body. If you think about it, it makes sense… your cravings are a product of the unfriendly bacteria that have taken over your microbiome, which houses trillions of bacteria living within your body.
 
Both friendly and unfriendly bacteria settle in your microbiome in an ongoing battle for dominance. While the friendly kind are essential to your health, helping to regulate your appetite, mood, metabolism, digestion, immune system, brain health, heart health and bone development, the unfriendly kind find numerous ways to undermine your health.
 
When you crave sugar, the unfriendly bacteria in your microbiome are usually the culprits. That’s because many of them feed on sugars; the easily digested carbohydrates contained in sweet and starchy foods. Simply put, when your unfriendly bacteria, so do you. Luckily, the solution is as simple as rebalancing your microbiome…

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Five microbiome-friendly foods to balance your gut bacteria...

Dr Kellman explains that when you start eating microbiome-friendly foods, you improve the balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in your microbiome and your sugar cravings disappear. These are the top five foods he recommends:
 
#1: Kimchee
A traditional Korean dish that’s become popular over the last few years, kimchee is a fermented cabbage that’s loaded with live bacteria. Sure, that doesn’t sound appetising, but just picture those friendly bacteria lifting your mood, supporting your weight-loss efforts and vanquishing your sugar cravings and soon you’ll be happy to welcome them into your microbiome! Although traditional kimchee is hot and spicy, you can find medium and even mild versions on the market. Dr Kellman recommends using kimchee in dishes like rice, pasta and even grilled cheese.

#2: Kefir
Popular in the Balkans and the Middle East, kefir is a fermented milk drink that tastes something like drinking yoghurt. Rich in live bacteria, it’s a fantastic microbiome-friendly weight-loss food and a terrific way to stop your sugar cravings. Dr Kellman recommends using kefir in your smoothies and protein shakes for an extra microbiome boost in the morning.

#3: Jerusalem artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are a top pre-biotic – a food that nourishes your friendly bacteria to help them dominate. Rich in inulin, one of your friendly bacteria’s favourite food, Jerusalem artichokes are small, knobby, starchy root vegetables also known as “sunchokes”. Make sure that shouldn’t be confused with regular artichokes. Dr Kellman recommends scrubbing them clean as you would a potato and steaming them, baking them or enjoying them raw, sliced thin, with lemon and olive oil.

#4: Leeks
Also a delicious prebiotic, leeks are an inulin-rich food that stops sugar cravings by feeding your friendly bacteria. Dr Kellman recommends slicing them into an omelette or a soup, or lightly steaming them and then dressing them with vinaigrette. Your microbiome and your taste buds will both thank you!
 
#5: Grapefruit
Drinking fruit juice can promote sugar cravings because it’s chock-full of simple sugars. Eating grapefruit, on the other hand, will break these sugar cravings. This is because the fibre in grapefruit is a natural prebiotic that nourishes your friendly bacteria and helps to balance your insulin levels and stabilise your blood sugar. Dr Kellman recommends snacking on a grapefruit whenever you feel you need a sugar fix.
 
Sugar cravings can be a very powerful force, but if you feed your microbiome, you can but those pesky cravings to rest!


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