Pop Quiz! Most people have heard about the gut microbiome, or bacteria that live in our digestive tracts. How many bacteria do you think live in our guts?
Answer: 100 trillion – 90% of the cells in the human body are gut bacteria, while the remaining 10% are human cells.
Research is continuing to demonstrate the importance of these bacteria for our overall health.
Benefits of Good Gut Bacteria
· Decreased bowel disease and digestive issues
· Improved immunity
· Proper nutrient absorption
· Better mood?
· Weight management?
So how can we eat in a way that will better affect our gut health?
1) Eat foods that contain probiotics (the good bacteria!) (SHOW GRAPHIC 2)
Food Sources of Probiotics
· Probiotic drinks (e.g., DanActive, Yakult)
The common theme here is that these are fermented foods.
2) We also need to FEED the good bacteria that live inside us so they continue to multiply and crowd out the bad guys. PRE-biotics refers to food for the PRO-biotics.
Food Sources of Prebiotics
· Whole wheat, oats, barley
· Garlic, leeks, onions
· Chia and flax seeds
· Apples, bananas, berries
Overnight oats fit the bill and provide both probiotics and prebiotics!
Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats
Adapted from streetsmartnutrition.com
Makes 2 servings
· 1 cup rolled oats
· ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
· 1 cup low-fat milk
· 2 tbsp chia seeds
· 2 ripe peaches
· ½ tsp vanilla extract
· 1/8 tsp cinnamon
· ¼ cup sliced almonds for topping
1. Prepare two clean mason jars or re-usable containers. Divide all ingredients in half (except for sliced almonds) and add to jars. Stir to combine, seal lids, and chill overnight.
2. When ready to serve, sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Garnish with additional sliced or chopped peaches and cinnamon, if desired.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings
· 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
· ½ cup rolled oats
· 2/3 cup low-fat milk
· 1 tbsp chia seeds
· 2 tbsp peanut butter
· 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
· Pinch of salt
· Honey or maple syrup to taste (you may not need any)
1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
2. Pour into a mason jar or re-usable container and seal; chill overnight.