When it comes to taking care of your health, it all boils down to how well you support your digestive tract. Did you know that your digestive tract makes up for 80% of your immune system? While your stomach provides the majority of the immunity support due to its high acidity content. Your stomach is able to eliminate the mass majority of any unwanted intruders. However, your gut microbiome depends on the support of good bacteria to help aid in digesting nutrients. Every part of your digestive tract is designed to break foods down as much as possible. At each stage of your digestive tract, the elements your body breaks off become nutrients that are rerouted to support your body’s basic needs and functions. Your gut microbiome is where the real work happens. There is a limit to how much your body is able to do on its own.
It relies on the assistance of a variety of bacteria to break the bulk of your nutrients down. Different bacteria are able to break down different foods for your body to access. This is why it is imperative to your health that you have a variety of good bacteria and provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive. Probiotics are becoming more and more commonly discussed in daily conversations. However, probiotics are useless if you don’t prep their environment with the proper nutrients. Prebiotics help set the stage for ideal bacteria to flourish which prevents the invasion of unwanted “bad” bacteria from setting up shop. Once you have established an ideal foundation for the good bacteria to live in, you want to onboard a variety of good bacteria, but don’t forget to provide postbiotics that ensure your good bacteria continue to thrive.
Natural Prebiotics to Support Gut Microbiome
Prebiotics are a great first step to getting your health in the right direction. Remember, the goal is to set the stage for multiple good bacteria to want to set up shop. This is why it pays to take multiple prebiotics so feel free to mix things up as much as you can. The best part is that each prebiotic also comes with additional health benefits. Your digestive tract is as unique as you are, as such, you may need to play around with the following list of natural prebiotics to find out which ones will work best with your body.
Apples are not only great at getting you up and on your way they are perfect to aid in weight loss and management. Apples are high in fiber which aids in digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. The fiber in apples also helps lower the risk of heart disease and aids in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Apples are also low in calories and high in water content which helps the body naturally detox and thus, removes excess weight that can be stored toxins. When our bodies come into contact with something they either do not recognize or consider an enemy they encase it in fat as a form of protection. During detoxing our bodies force out these fat-encased toxins which result in a lower number on the scale.
Apples are great for your brain activity. They contain high levels of boron, which stimulates the electrical activity of the brain and increases mental alertness. Apples also help to produce Dopamine in the body which helps to improve: memory, mood (feelings of joy or bliss), motivation, and focus. Apples may not be rich in calcium, but their high levels of boron make them a great food to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones. A 2006 study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin (one of the antioxidants found abundantly in apples) was one of two compounds that helped to reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Once again, highlights what makes apples so desirable in daily nutrition.
Artichokes are chock-full of important nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron, as well as potassium and antioxidants. In addition to its wide nutrition profile, artichokes offer more protein than many other vegetables at 3.5 grams per serving. Studies show that those who consume a higher ratio of plant-based protein to animal-derived protein have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
A half-cup of artichokes contains about seven grams of fiber or more than a quarter of the amount recommended for women and nearly a fifth of the amount recommended for men. Americans, on average, only eat about half the amount of fiber that’s recommended per day. Artichokes are full of inulin, which is a unique form of fiber known to help prevent gastrointestinal issues like constipation, enhance the absorption of minerals like calcium, and bolster your immune system. It is also a natural probiotic which helps support digestion. Artichokes are high up on the list of immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich foods. Artichokes are naturally high in polyphenols, which can repair damaged cells that impair your immune function.
Leeks are rich in vitamin A, one of the nutrients necessary for the eyes to properly function. They are also loaded with antioxidants that help the eyes combat environmental pollutants or allergens with which they might come in contact. Lastly, leeks are good sources of zeaxanthin and lutein, which shield the eyes, thus helping prevent cataracts. The antioxidants in leeks combat these aging elements and can make your cleaner, healthier, and more glowing. Leeks also contain allicin, an anti-bacterial agent that keeps germs at bay. These large members of the onion family are also good for your heart – they contain kaempferol, which protects the blood vessels. They also contain small amounts of nitric oxide, which helps dilate and relax blood vessels.
Another healthy ingredient in leeks is potassium. This nutrient helps regulate tension in blood vessels to keep a steady flow of blood streaming through your veins and arteries. Potassium also helps to regulate hormone levels in the body and maintain a good acid/base balance in the digestive system. Anemia, a low concentration of red blood cells in the blood, can cause a number of troubling symptoms including fatigue, low mental alertness, and general weakness. Leeks are a good source of iron and B vitamins, which both combat anemia and boost the body’s red blood cell count. The antioxidant vitamins in leeks are beneficial for weekend warriors; they lessen inflammation from sore muscles, bruises, and strains. Leeks contain vitamin K, which is needed to produce a protein called osteocalcin successfully. Osteocalcin is essential for good bone health and wards off osteoporosis.
Asparagus is great for weight loss for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is its high fiber content. It is also a natural diuretic and contains inulin which aids in digestion by increasing good bacterial flora. Asparagus is great for regulating blood sugar levels and contains saponins such as diosgenin which help improve blood pressure. It helps to detox the body and increase energy levels due to its high concentration of B-complex vitamins. Asparagus also helps increase the production of red blood cells and the vitamin K content helps promote heart and bone health. But wait there’s more. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants and contains glutathione which detoxifies and fights carcinogens. It is definitely a vegetable that should make it on your plate this season!
Onions vary in size, shape, color, and flavor. The most common types are red, yellow, and white onions. The researchers found that the risk of colorectal cancer was 79% lower in those who regularly consumed allium vegetables, such as onions. Experts do not fully understand the exact mechanism by which some compounds in onions inhibit cancer. Some hypothesize that onions inhibit tumor growth and cell mutation. One cup of chopped onions also provides at least 13.11% of an adult’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. As an antioxidant, this vitamin helps counter the formation of free radical compounds that have links to cancer. As a good source of vitamin C, onions may support the building and maintenance of collagen. A 2019 review found that quercetin, a compound in onion skin, had links to lower blood pressure when the researchers extracted it and administered it as a supplement.
It contains allicin, which is a compound with numerous health benefits including antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. That does not even count the vitamins and minerals found in the nutritious seasoning. A 12-week study revealed that people who took 2.56 grams of garlic per day (or related supplements) not only got sick fewer times but the length and severity of their cold or flu improved. High blood pressure is a considerable risk factor for heart disease. It’s thought to cause about 70% of strokes, heart attacks, and chronic heart failure. High blood pressure is the cause of 13.5 percent of deaths worldwide. Taking garlic supplements will still give you the health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, treating fever, and many more. Garlic has been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL levels by 10 to 15 percent. Furthermore, eating garlic does not influence your HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Garlic contains allicin. Allicin is believed to be a viable antibiotic replacement. It also assists when used in conjunction with conventional prescribed antibiotics. Garlic is a powerful detox food that promotes glutathione production by various liver enzymes. It also provides other important detoxifying components, including multiple bioactive selenium and sulfur compounds. Research has shown that garlic oil works as an anti-inflammatory. The Arthritis Foundation even recommends it to help prevent cartilage damage from arthritis. Researchers believe red blood cells turn the sulfur in garlic into hydrogen sulfide gas. That expands our blood vessels, making it easier to regulate blood pressure.
Chipotle Chicken Tacos With Cilantro Lime
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 6
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 cups vegan sharp cheddar
- 12 gluten-free taco shells of choice
- 1 cup vegan greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos minced
- 2 Tbsp jalapeno brine
- 1 tsp onion powder
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tsp sea salt
Into a bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set in the refrigerator. Over medium-high heat, heat up the oil in a skillet. Saute the onions in the oil. After one to two minutes before adding the chicken. Once the chicken has been added mix in the seasonings and brown the chicken. Scoop the chicken into the taco shells and cheese. For crispy tacos, place the tacos with meat and cheese into an air-fryer to cook until crispy. Top with dressing and enjoy.
Summer Breeze Cocktail
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 2
- 3 oz Grapefruit Vodka
- 1 1/2 oz diet cranberry juice
- 3 oz coconut lime bia water
- 1 1/2 oz lemonade sugar-free
- Lime slices
Into a shaker combine all ingredients and shake well with ice. Serve over ice with a lime slice.
Coconut Curry Meatballs
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Severs 4
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger grated
- 2 red bell peppers sliced
- 14 oz coconut milk full-fat
- 2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp coconut amino
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 4 cups lime coconut rice
- Spicy Lime Salsa:
- 1 mango diced
- 1/2 cup pineapple diced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 4 sweet and spicy peppers
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the turkey, green onions, garlic, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper into a bowl. Mix until combined. Coat your hands in oil and roll the meat into tablespoon-sized balls. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in a large skillet. Add shallots, peppers, and ginger. Cook for 5-8 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Stir in curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, coconut amino, and fish sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and cook until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients for the spicy salsa. Serve the curry over coconut rice and top with salsa.
Summer Squash Rigatoni
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 4
- 8 oz chickpea rigatoni pasta
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 large yellow squash cubbed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 leek sliced thin
- 8 basil leaves
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 2 cups spinach
- 6 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup vegan feta
- Salt, Pepper, and Red pepper flakes to taste
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute garlic and leeks. Cook pasta as directed on the box. Once the garlic and leeks become fragrant add butter, basil, spinach, seasonings, and squash. Saute until the spinach wilts and add in the lemon. Transfer over the pasta with a little of the reserved pasta water. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and serve with feta and additional basil on top.
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Keeping your body free of toxins and free radicals is necessary to maintain a healthy life and a healthy mind. There are tons of foods you can add to your regular diet to help your body with its critical detoxifying processes. If you are looking for a safe and all-natural way to detox your body at home be sure to check out my Balancing Abundance Program. Because detoxing is so important and realistically everyone should be doing it on at least a seasonal basis I have taken the time to put together a program to help you do just that. Here’s the thing, I know working with me one-on-one can seem difficult to get into (due to limited space) and I wanted to be able to give everyone an additional solution that has no limits. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful at everything you do so here are some recipes to help set you up for success!
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A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!