There’s good reason we hear so much about gut bacteria these days. An explosion of research has revealed that the trillions of microbes dwelling behind our belly buttons have tremendous power over our wellbeing,” says William Davis, MD, author of the new book Super Gut. “People are being prescribed meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, insomnia, depression, you name it — and we’d need virtually none of it if we had the right microbes in our guts.”
That said, modern life makes it hard for good bacteria to survive and easy for bad bacteria to thrive. Dr. Davis’ solution? His Wheat Belly plan is a great jumping-off place, a way to starve carb-loving bad bacteria and nourish fiber-loving good bacteria. In mere hours, it helps a wide variety of good bacteria begin to flourish inside you. But that’s just for starters…
Dr. Davis’ Number One Secret
“L. reuteri is my favorite microbe, and most of us currently have none in our systems,” he shares. Among L. reuteri’s many benefits: It’s been linked to better blood sugar, faster fat burn, lifelong slenderness, rapid hair growth, youthful skin, accelerated healing, superimmunity, lower stress, reversal of age-related bone and muscle loss and much more. “It’s enough to turn back the clock 20 years,” says Dr. Davis.
There’s more. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology studies, L. reuteri triggers our brains to release a surge of oxytocin, “the hormone of love, empathy and human connection,” says Dr. Davis. “The effect goes beyond a little improvement in mood. You suddenly like your spouse, family and co-workers more. Loops of negative thoughts running through your head go away. Depression, rage, anxiety — people are stunned by the degree of relief they get.”
Also key: A growing army of good bacteria like L. reuteri naturally crowds out bad bacteria that make us sick, hungry and prone to fat storage. As this happens, even pounds that never budged before “just fall off,” says Dr. Davis. His devotees tell us they’ve shed up to 45 pounds a month.
So how do you restore your levels of L. reuteri ? First, use a probiotic supplement, like the ones Dr. Davis recommends below. Next, get some from food each day—a trick the doc says helps bacteria proliferate faster. Look for “L. reuteri” on labels of foods with live and active cultures, like sauerkraut, the Korean condiment kimchi and the yogurt-like drink kefir such as Lifeway Lowfat Milk Plain Kefir (Buy from Walmart, $3.12). And if you can’t manage all of Dr. Davis’ strategies at once, add them gradually. You’ll still get amazing results!
How to Make Meals That Heal and Shrink Your Gut
To eat Dr. Davis’ way, start by avoiding wheat and processed sweeteners or starch. Enjoy a daily serving of probiotic-rich kefir, yogurt, or vinegar-free sauerkraut. Also add a daily probiotic supplement such as Synbiotic 365 (Buy from UnitedNaturals.com, $45) or BioGaia Gastrus tablets (Buy from Everidis.com, $28.99). Finally, aim for lots of fiber from options like onion, greens and beans to “feed” good bacteria. Most meals should have a serving of lean protein, lots of veggies and a little good fat. Find inspiration here and at DrDavisInfiniteHealth.com.
SWEET KEFIR BOWL: Blitz 1 cup kefir, 1 cup frozen berries, 2 handfuls greens,
1 Tbs. inulin powder and stevia to taste; add healthy garnishes.
SUPER-FIBER SALAD: Top a large mixed salad with chicken, onion, avocado and 1⁄4 cup black beans; use salsa mixed with yogurt for dressing.
KEBABS WITH YOGURT: Dip lean beef in tzatziki yogurt sauce (such as Boar’s Head brand); enjoy with grilled veggies.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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