Bacteria in your gut
Your "gut" refers to your small and large intestines, which are lined with millions of bacteria collectively known as the microbiome. Ever-changing, the types of bacteria can be effected by the type of foods you eat, for better or for worse. There are certain links between types of gut bacteria and chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity and IBS, that are being explored in emerging research.
The good thing is that we can influence the type of bacteria in our gut by changing our eating habits. Some studies show that you can change the type of bacteria in 24 hours just by switching from an animal based diet to a plant-based diet. The bacteria changes and adapts very quickly. And eating a plant-based diet is associated with having a healthier biome.
Why breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Eating foods with lower glucose levels and higher protein at breakfast were found to be associated with higher energy levels. It is therefore recommended that your first meal of the day be low in sugar and high in protein. These changes may lead to better overall health and help prevent disease, especially metabolic and liver disorders, in the long term. So rather than reaching for the quick and easy sugary processed cereals or the flimsy pastry opt for something that will be rich in fiber and higher in protein.
Foods to add to your breakfast
Chia and flax:
These little oilseeds are versatile. They don't have a strong taste so it's easy to incorporate them into our recipes to get their benefits. They absorb up to ten times their weight in liquid. The gel aura around the chia seed helps intestinal transit. Great for cases of constipation. My favorite way to add them to my diet is in my water bottle or as a pudding!
Another seed that is very effective when it comes to colon cleansing! Like chia seed, it absorbs a lot of liquid, creating a gelatinous soup when mixed with water. Start with small amounts to see how your body responds. I like to add a tsp or two of psyllium in some apple juice or add it to my smoothie.
These vegetables, which are very fibrous, make excellent "brooms" for the digestive system. Their high content of antioxidants and minerals can help us counter and protect ourselves from toxins. For people who have digestive problems, steam your green vegetables lightly in order to digest them better. Even better, eat sprouts. Super rich in chlorophyll and enzymes; which facilitate and optimize digestion. I like to add my greens to my daily green smoothie in the morning.
Green Goddess Smoothie Recipe:
- 1 overripe banana (more easily digested)
- 1 cup frozen mangoes
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup sprouts or kale
- 2 cups coconut water
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp Bio-Strath Elixir
Simply blend all ingredients and enjoy!
Our intestines contain hundreds of billions of microorganisms that play critical roles in our digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function, and protect us from surrounding pathogens. Prebiotics are a food source for your gut's healthy bacteria. They're carbs your body can't digest. So they go to your lower digestive tract, where they act like food to help the healthy bacteria grow.
Try apples, bananas, almonds, leeks, sweet potatoes and garlic. If you prefer savory to sweet, why not enjoy a tofu scramble made with some leeks, garlic, sweet potatoes and kale. You can also enjoy some Molkosan, a unique lacto-fermented whey product that is renowned for its traditional uses as a valuable food supplement for good digestive health.
Foods rich in probiotics are fermented and contain bacteria that are beneficial to our digestive system. They often have a bitter taste. It is very good to take a daily probiotic supplement of but they can also be found in kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, raw walnut cheeses, kefir, yogourt and rejuvelac.
Oats contain fiber, in the form of beta-glucans, which have been connected to lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar levels and creating a healthy gut microbiome. Fiber from the oats also keeps you full. Make oatmeal—or overnight oats, which can be enjoyed hot or cold the next morning. Oats can also be added to smoothies, pancakes, muffins and homemade granola.
Researchers found overweight adults who ate avocado with their breakfast showed improved blood flow, which can positively impact your blood pressure. They also found better after-meal blood sugar and blood-fat levels compared to those who ate the standard meal.
There are 31 grams of protein in one cup of tempeh. Ensuring you get a good amount of protein into your meals may stimulate an increase in metabolism which will help your body burn more calories. I enjoy tempeh cut into slices with a bit of tamari and maple syrup, cooked in coconut oil--an awesome bacon alternative!
There are herbal supplements that assist in cleansing the digestive system and supporting your gut such as Digestive Aid Complex by A.Vogel. It contains artichoke, milk thistle, boldo and dandelion; all known to improve digestion. Digestive Aid Complex can be used situationally to help if we've overindulged in heavy, rich foods or drink. But it can also be taken twice daily as a 6 week cleanse. A clinical trial showed that people suffering from chronic digestive issues saw on average 76% improvement in symptoms such as; heartburn, bloating, gas and nausea.
Alternatively, we can also turn to herbs that we have at home in our spice cabinet. Why not try mint herbal tea to soothe stomach aches, swelling and gas. Fennel seeds remove mucus and soothe gas. Oregano has antifungal and anti-viral properties.
This one does more than just add spice to your dishes! It is good for circulation, digestion and helps loosen the build-up of mucus in the body. Add a pinch in your hot lemon water or in your scramble.
I hope this article has enlightened you and inspired you to choose healthy foods for your breakfasts! Feel free to share your recipes with us by tagging us on social media with the @avogelcanada.