Are you good to your gut? I’m asking because this month the Recipe Redux has picked Good Gut Health for the October theme. Here’s the challenge:
With cold and flu season upon us, the best defense may be good gut health. Since much of our immune health begins in the gut, show us your healthy, delicious recipe to bolster gut health.
If you follow any human health science trends, you already know there’s strong interest in the gut microbiome (the bacterial community in your GI tract.) It’s mind blowing when I think that the gut is home to a complex community of over 100 trillion microbial cells, and these cells influence human physiology, metabolism, nutrition and immune function. Keeping their home healthy is important, because disruption to the gut microbiota has been linked with gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.
So what’s good for the gut? You can enhance more of the good bugs in your gut by eating a diverse diet including probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods like sauerkraut , kumbucha and kimchi. In addition, the good bacteria team flouishes when you also fuel them with plenty of prebiotics (food for probiotics) including whole wheat, garlic, onions, asparagus and leeks.
Keeping the bacterial community in your GI tract healthy should be something you do everyday, not just once in awhile. If you don’t like the above foods mentioned as important for gut health, try to combine them with other foods in recipes that are appealing . I took a vanilla kefir and made a pumpkin spreadable cheese. It’s good on bagels, crackers, and apples.
with about 20 calories less per tablespoon and slightly less fat ( 1 gram vs. 5 grams fat in cream cheese).
It’s exciting to think if we alter our gut microbiome we can change things; but research is in infancy. Stay tuned for more information in this growing area of health. Be sure to visit the links to find more recipes for a healthy GI tract.
Pumpkin Spreadable Cheese
- 1 cup vanilla kefir
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
Put a coffee filter into a large measuring cup. Pour kefir into the filter, and place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning pour off liquid that has drained from coffee filter. Scoop out remaining thickened kefir and place in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered for up to 5 days.