The internal health of your gut and the bacteria within it has a huge impact on its external appearance. Research in the journal Nature Communications found your intestinal immune system controls how you metabolize energy, which in turn affects your body fat. Use these foods to make sure your innards contribute to your outer abs.


Chia seeds

Research in the British Journal of Nutrition found that these seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which can reduce gut infl ammation and help you burn more fat. They’re also rich in fi ber and omega-3 fats. Spoon generous handfuls into your next smoothie.


digest away fat


Plain yogurts

Avoid the fat-free versions and go for the plain unflavored options for your probiotic fix. Research in the British Medical Journal found that the probiotic lactobacillus cuts the rate and length of respiratory illness in long-distance runners. If you don’t like dairy then try a probiotic supplement.


Coconut oils

This oil is made of medium chain triglycerides, which help your body absorb fat. Remember, you need fat to absorb several vitamins and minerals and research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found these fats helped people lose weight.


Soft cheeses

These have all the benefits of yogurt thanks to their high probiotic quantities. Research in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology found that eating a little each day helped keep your immune system strong well into old age.


Fermented foods

We used to eat fermented foods because it was a way of keeping them fresh. Today these specialty items are a tasty way to get vitamins and probiotics into your diet to improve your digestive health. Try foods like tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha tea.


Not all bad news for the occasional junk

Processed foods have got plenty of bad press lately but there is some small reprieve for these delicious but oh-so-bad-for-you snacks. Research at Kansas State University found ready-to-eat meat products like pepperoni, deli meats and hot dogs were relatively free of carcinogenic compounds that can cause cancers. They’re still high in fat but if you watch your overall intake you can still enjoy an occasional bite in combination with an overall healthy, mostly wholesome diet.


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