Variety is the spice of life. This applies to many different aspects of life, and none more so than our diet.
We’ve all heard about how important probiotics (healthy bugs) are for our digestion and general health. The necessary variety in our diet has got a lot to do with keeping a healthy microbiome (our gut bugs as a whole) and so keeping ourselves healthy.
Here’s some things we can all add into our food from time to time to not only spice up our diets but also to increase our health.
Garlic helps our immunity in large part by helping the mix of our microbiome to switch to a healthier one. It is a wonderful prebiotic (something our probiotics love to eat).
Radishes contain arabinogalactans. These are a particular type of fibre that, when fermented by our gut bugs, produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) which are essential for the health of the colon (large intestine).
Carrots also contain arabinogalactans. The variety here is also provided by the wonderful colour range we can now get them in. They also contain Vitamin A, which is important for the gut wall, as well as our liver. Liver health is essential for strong digestion, as well as for nail and hair health.
Jerusalem artichoke is one source of inulin. This is a form of dietary fibre we can’t digest, which means it passes through the small intestine to be fermented in the large intestine. This helps to increase healthy bugs, improves regularity and keeps our colon healthy. Inulin also has no calories so it can be a big help in weight management.
Jicama is a native of Mexico and it’s probably something you haven’t had before so there’s variety in it’s novelty value as well. It’s a juicy, sweet and nutty tuber with a distinct crunch. It is most commonly enjoyed raw, but you can cook it too. Its white flesh stays crisp when cooked briefly. It also has a high inulin content.
Asparagus is another inulin source, as well as a source of magnesium, which is important for our muscles to relax as well as our digestive enzymes. It has a variety of nutrients which are also good for the gut wall.
Leeks are also good for the gut wall. They are high in bioflavonoids, which helps Vitamin C be more effective, as well as dietary fibre and manganese which helps activate digestive enzymes. They also have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for our liver as well as the gut wall. They can be helpful for a weak digestive system.