Everyone these days is trying to save the environment. Recycling, reducing waste, saving energy. These are all great for the world around us, but let's not forget about the world inside our bodies. There is a tiny ecosystem in our intestinal tract and living in symbiosis with us. That community of tiny bacteria, or microbiome, helps with digestion, metabolism, and strengthens our immune system. Here are some top ways you can support your microbiome and by extention, your overall good health.
Probiotics & Your Microbiome:
Many foods contain beneficial bacteria. Yogurt is a popular snack that contains live bacteria that can aid in digestion. You may have also heard of kimchi, a Korean fermented vegetable dish, that provides many health benefits. For an extra boost, a dedicated probiotic supplement can add millions of beneficial microbes to your inner environment.
To keep your microbiome working at its best, however, you need to also include prebioticsin your diet. If probiotics are new seeds in a farmer's field, the terrain preparing prebiotic weeds, waters and fertilizes the soil beforehand.These foods contain complex carbohydrates that nourish and stimulate the beneficial microbes in your digestive tract. Eating a healthy diet with lots of prebiotics will keep your inner environment in balance. Here are some superfoods to help with your microbiome:
Garlic doesn't just keep away vampires. It fights dangerous bacteria as well. It has been used as an immunity booster for centuries. Even better, it's friendly to those good bacteria in your microbiome. Garlic is a one-two punch for your health - feeding the good guys and knocking out the bad guys. Just keep a breath mint handy. Radishes Radishes are one of the under-appreciated super foods. Not only do they contain arabiongalactans, a complex sugar molecule that beneficial bacteria thrive on, their pungent flavor can also clear clogged sinuses and soothe sore throats.
Leeks are from the same family as onions. They're excellent in soups and stocks, but are often sautÃ©ed as well. They're also loaded with vital nutrients. They have large amounts of the flavonoid kaempferol, which studies have linked to reduced risk of cancer and improved circulation. And of course Leeks contain dietary fiber to feed those beneficial bacteria. Also manganese and vitamin A will improve digestive function.
In ancient times, asparagus was renowned as an aphrodisiac. Your results on that front may vary, but this low calorie food is very filling making it an excellent choice for weight loss. Asparagus is also rich in inulin, a soluble fiber that is one of the most effective prebiotics. One word of warning, asparagus is also rich in the aptly named aparaguitic acid, which can cause a harmless condition known as "smelly pee."
You might have a bottle of this in your spice rack already. If not, go out and get some right away. This staple of Indian and Asian cuisine packs so many health benefits it ought to have a permanent place in your pantry. Tumeric is an incredible anti-inflamatory. Studies have shown it to be more effective than pharmaceuticals in treating arthritis and skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. If that wasn't enough, it's also shown to promote beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract as well.
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