The gut is a huge topic in health spheres.
With newly emerging research making possible links between one’s gut and their skin, brain, immune system and even weight; it’s no wonder that everyone’s talking.
Foods that contain live cultures of certain bacteria strains are of particular interest. These foods are termed probiotics.
Their intent is to survive passage through the upper digestive tract of an individual, before colonising the lower gastrointestinal tract; namely the colon or bowel; and provide beneficial effects on the person’s health.
These effects are numerous and also still being discovered. Probiotic foods are generally thought for instance, to promote the excretion of toxic substances and enhance a host’s immune defence system.
In short, it’s also thought that probiotic foods colonise more of the “good stuff” in our bowels and help to eliminate the “bad stuff” by crowding them out.
We have somewhere in the vicinity of 100 trillion bacteria and about 500 bacterial strains in our digestive system.
One of the most familiar probiotic foods is yoghurt, commonly fermented with the addition of lactic acid bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Other food sources include miso and tempeh, both fermented from soy beans and more recently the world of fermented vegetables has gained a cult following in this regard.
Wild fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chi (both from cabbage); rather than having the addition of a culture; are fermented naturally in the absence of oxygen. Traditional ferments such as this can provide for a diversity of live bacteria and from simple ingredients such as cabbage and salt. Kim chi will also use the additional flavour of Korean red pepper which makes for a winning flavour.
For a food to be considered probiotic, it must contain 100 million live active bacteria per gram. This attribute is not always measured or accounted for by food manufacturers declaring “probiotic-containing” and should be taken into consideration by consumers.
Additionally, probiotic-containing foods cannot undo poor diets or reverse medical conditions. In some cases; especially gastrointestinal conditions; the particular bacteria strains contained, may exacerbate existing issues.
Professional and individual advice is always recommended from a Qualified Nutritionist or Dietitian.
And it’s important to know that a diverse diet high in fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and proteins can provide an individual with the vast nutrients they require for optimal nutrition.
Gut Friendly Warm Salad Bowl by Nadia Felsch
GF / VG
PREP TIME : 10 mins
COOK TIME : 35 mins
- 1 bunch Dutch carrots
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to cook
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- ¼ small white cabbage
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small avocado
- ¼ cup kim chi
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Wash carrot well and cut off roots, leaving just a small amount at the top
- Drizzle with oil and season to bake
- Once oven is to temperature, bake for 30-35 mins or until soft and golden
- Whilst baking, prepare the eggs
- Bring a medium saucepan to the rapid boil
- Place eggs in and cook for 7 minutes
- Remove from the heat, drain and immediately place eggs into a bowl of icy water
- Peel eggs and set aside
- Finely shred cabbage and place in a large bowl
- Pick mint leaves and roughly chop
- Add mint, quinoa and brown rice to the cabbage
- Drizzle with oil and season to taste
- Divide this mixture between two bowls
- Slice avocado flesh and divide between the two bowls
- Season avocado to taste
- Add kimchi
- Once carrots are baked, add to bowl and serve
This salad can be enjoyed warm or cold and makes for a great leftover meal. Simply add the kimchi and oil to serve to prevent sogginess.
Nadia Felsch is a Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc) who consults globally from Sydney. Calling out nutrition myths, providing valuable food education and delicious recipes is her main jam, provided via client consultations, working online, on social media @nadiafelsch and also via workshops.
She’s also the founder of a wholesome baking mix brand – Wholefood Society and on a personal front enjoys travel with her husband, playing with her 2 x mini sausage dogs, café time with friends and working out.
www.nadiafelsch.com | @nadiafelsch