By now, everyone has heard a lot about probiotics or "good bacteria". More and more health-conscious people are taking probiotic supplements and upping their consumption of probiotic-rich foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented fare in an effort to increase their healthy gut bacteria. But are we forgetting something?
While probiotics are certainly beneficial, it's important that we don't forget about prebiotics. Prebiotics are the foods that provide nourishment to the probiotics.
When probiotics have enough quality prebiotic-rich food to eat, your gut will be working better and you'll be feeling your best because the bacteria in your gut will be well fed.
Prebiotic fiber is also shown to help with weight management and encourage weight loss. Certainly there are pills-a-plenty that claim to be full of prebiotic fiber but I always like to get mine from food. Some of those prebiotic rich foods (which is nearly every plant-based food) include dark, leafy greens like kale and even walnuts!
I've featured both of these gut-friendly foods in this Kale & Quinoa Salad with a tasty Orange Maple Vinaigrette.
Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. Its fiber content is great for aiding in digestion and elimination and happens to be packed with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium too!
Walnuts are an amazing source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids; (ALA). Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, and are an excellent source of copper and manganese.