Pretty much everyone knows by now that probiotics are vital for maintaining good gut health. But did you know that there is a key probiotic source that is readily available but often overlooked?
More on that in minute.
But firstly, what’s the deal with probiotics and gut health?
The research all basically says the same thing: a healthy and balanced gut microbiome is foundational for health and wellbeing.
Balance is the key word here. There is a constant tussle between beneficial and harmful microbes going on in your gut – with both groups trying to claim territory and gain the upper hand.
When the good guys win, your health improves.
Probiotics support a healthy microbiome by seeding beneficial microbes into your gut. More good microbes in the gut = better gut health.
Common Probiotic Sources
Two valuable sources of probiotics are fermented foods and probiotic powders and supplements. For the latter, it’s important to choose a probiotic that supplies both beneficial bacteria and fungi to support the total microbiome. I designed Bestow Gut Love + Powder with that in mind, and I am proud that it features the world-class Biohm probiotic.
But there is another probiotic source that you probably already have in your kitchen.
Organic Fruit and Veggies Provide Living Microbes
Organic fruit and vegetables are a lesser-known but hugely important source of probiotics. Living microbes can be found on the leaves and skins of spray-free fruit and vegetables. These naturally occurring microbes can actually help to establish beneficial bacterial colonies in our bodies.
You might be wondering, “why does the produce need to be organic?”
Unfortunately, our culture’s obsession with cleanliness and sanitation has seeped into our food production methods. Any fruit and vegetables that are not squeaky clean and perfect are discarded or ignored by consumers. This has led to an overuse of pesticides and other sprays to prevent spoilage, which of course, kill the microbes that live on the surface of the produce.
If our fruit and vegetables are too clean then our gut is robbed of an important source of natural probiotics. Research has shown that beneficial microbes are capable of helping our body rid itself of ailments. In particular they help regulate our immune system, preventing it from the over-reaction that is the cause of many inflammation based diseases, whilst keeping it alert enough to ward off unwelcome invaders. Good gut health supports your internal protective mechanisms.
Keep It Local
Another benefit of these microbes is that they adapt to the environment in which they grow, defending themselves again potential allergens in their surrounds. For optimal health benefits, you are best to eat organic produce from your local area as these microbes will train your body how to respond appropriately to the allergens in your local area.
Shop at Farmers Markets
An easy way to do this is to source your produce from local organic farmers markets. Eat what you can in its fresh, raw state, only gently washing them to remove obvious dirt.
Grow Your Own Spray-Free Herbs
Another option is to grow your own produce. Fresh herbs are a great way to start. They don’t take up much room in the garden and can even be grown on a window sill. Home grown herbs are an affordable and tasty source of live probiotics that are can be easily grown in your own environment. I would encourage you to pick up some herbs at your local garden centre and plant your own little organic herb patch at home.
Once you have herbs ready to harvest, celebrate by making this yummy Bestow Pesto below. Enjoy the delicious satisfaction that comes from eating organic herbs that you have grown yourself to support your gut microbiome. Happy days!
BESTOW CORIANDER PESTO
This recipe is from the Bestow Love Your Gut 7-Day Online Programme. You could substitute the Coriander for Basil, Rocket or Italian Parsley if you wish or even a mixture of herbs.
2 cups coriander, stalks and all (around 1 plant from the supermarket)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil
Himalayan salt to season
Place ingredients into a blender and blend until fully combined.
Coriander (sometimes known as cilantro) has well-known digestive properties and has a calming and anti-inflammatory affect in the intestinal tract. It also helps to prevent a build up of gas, reducing bloating.