Three quarters of your plate should be green leafy vegetables! I want to focus on nutrient dense and diverse veggies on your plate as well as foods that feed your beneficial bacteria (bugs) in your gut. Why are we interested in feeding bugs in our bellies, you may ask? The reason is that there is a competition between the “bugs” (bacteria, yeast, fungi and archaea) that live in your digestive system. We have 9 of these critters to every human cell in our body. They digest our food and regulate our appetite as well and there is the problem. A sugar and starch heavy diet produces more of the organisms that digest this and they cause you to desire more sugary treats! The organisms that are left out in this sugar fest go hungry so hungry that they eat the mucus membrane (blood-gut barrier) of your intestines creating the “Leaky gut syndrome”. This means undigested nutrients and toxins get into your blood and body cavity causing inflammation. Research has shown that the same is happening to the blood-brain barrier and that is a problem as toxins are getting into your brain! So, feed your beneficial bacteria with prebiotic foods with good fiber these guys love. Here is a list of favorites they are more effective raw.
Garlic- horrible tasting raw yet cooked with the next veggie the base of most dishes especially heart healthy Mediterranean foods.
Onion- especially red are great for your gut. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked with almost anything. Try them pickled raw or in a East Indian hot sauce
Leeks- they are 16 percent inulin fiber that helps the breakdown of fat as well.
Asparagus- great chopped up ends in a salad yet don’t forget to cut the tougher parts for a nutrient rich soup!
Dandelion greens- this nutrient and anti-oxidant filled lawn weed is filled with gut loving fiber that promotes the good bacteria!
Apples- yes an apple a day does keep the doctor away and the pectin fiber increases
butyrate a fatty acid that is good for the beneficial bugs and bad for the bad ones!