It’s a good day every time a new study highlights the the role of prebiotic and probiotic rich foods in providing healthy fuel for our gut flora or microbiome.
We need not look further than our garden to improve our gut health.
So a prebiotic is undigested food / fiber found in fruit, vegetables, grains, peas and beans that provide fuel for our good bacteria.
Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as kefir, miso or sauerkraut that contains actual live bacteria that contributes to good gut flora.
The idea is to eat a large variety of foods rich in prebiotics while weaving in small amounts of fermented foods throughout your diet. This would contribute to a higher diversity and volume of good flora and a much stronger microbiome to support health.
Strengthening our microbiome and gut health improves nutrient availability and absorption, hormone balance, immune health, gut integrity and brain health. The good guys also lessen opportunity for depression, anxiety, leaky gut, dysbiosis (imbalance of microbes present in gut flora), diabetes, obesity, crohns/colitis disease, hypothyroid, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, autoimmune conditions, infections, and cancer. The good news is that this list is not exhaustive.
Essentially, the health or our gut microbiome effects every area of heath!
You will love this…. Current study authors find that nuts, coffee, tea, dark chocolate, and even red wine also contribute to good gut flora or microbiota diversity. Studies also find that too severely limiting carbohydrate rich foods such as legumes, potatoes and grains result in a less diverse microbiota and not enough food to support optimal levels of good bacteria.
From your garden, local farmers market or healthy grocer, stock your kitchen with plenty plant foods including these top prebiotic rich foods and probiotic rich foods.
Prebiotic Rich Foods - veggie: asparagus, barley, beans, buckwheat, bulgar, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, fresh herbs, jerusalem artichokes, leeks, lentils, oats, onion, peas, rye, soybeans, spinach, sulsify, wheat berries, yukon and fruit: bananas, berries, cherries and remember dark chocolate, nuts, tea, chicory, and coffee, you may also see inulin a prebiotic used in a variety of products.
Probiotic Rich Foods - fermented foods kefir, kombucha, miso, natto (fermented beans), olives, pickles (try Bubbies brand) sauerkraut (try Farmhouse Culture brand), tamari, tempeh, tofu and yogurt are a rich source of natural healthy probiotic cultures found in the refrigerator section of your market.
Note that fermented foods are a specific method of pickling, but, quite different. Pickled foods are preserved in an acid medium like vinegar. Fermented foods do not contain vinegar and are meant to cultivate the live cultures or probiotics adding healthy flora to our microbiome.
Purple Hull Pea Soup:
Add a batch of fresh purple hull peas to a large pot, add enough water to cover peas plus ~3 inches. Cook 30 minutes.
Sweet onion ( leek would also be great)
Celery, 3 stalks with leaves, diced
Garlic, 2 cloves pressed
Carrot, whole, sliced thin
1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
Honey, 2 teaspoons
Butter, grass fed, organic, one small pat
Other options could be:
Japanese sweet potato diced (firmness holds up well in soups and adds a warm sweet flavor)
Apple chicken sausage , True Story brand, organic and nitrate nitrite free :)
Cook until veggies reach desired tenderness
Simple and Yummy!
Happy Shopping, God Bless, Debra
Gut 2016;65:330-339 doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309990; Recent advances in basic science
The gut microbiota and host health: a new clinical frontier
What dark chocolate and red wine can do for your gut microbiota
Interview with Jeff Leach from the American Gut Project
Are Pickles Fermented? Pickled Vs. Fermented Foods
5/11/2015 12:02:00 PM
By Chelsea Clark, Natural Health Advisory Institute
Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
My list of fermented, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods compiled overtime.