Often times the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the gastrointestinal tract is the digestion of food. How often do we think about all the good bacteria that live there? Or that it is the “largest organ of immunity in the body?” Although many other factors contribute to our immune system, we need to start to think of our gut health as the main contributing factor. There are a few ways to promote a healthy gut:
- Eat a high fiber diet
- Choose a plant based diet
- Consume probiotics & prebiotics
Some studies have shown that individuals who eat more fiber have greater diversity of bacteria in their gut. A high fiber diet also is related to a healthier weight; however this may be a result of people consuming an overall healthier diet. A plant-based diet, which is naturally high in fiber, has also proven to create a healthy gut. Lastly, probiotics ensure consumption of live good bacteria, and the prebiotics promote the development of the bacteria. Following these three recommendations can help create a healthy gut environment, which will boost the immune system.
Give this Cleveland Kraut recipe a try that is high in fiber and plant based foods!
4 100% whole-wheat tortillas
1/2 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 Tbsp. Gnar Gnar Kraut
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven 400F. Place chicken breast, peppers, and onions on a baking sheet. Rub chicken with canola oil and spices making sure everything is coated well. Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Wrap up all your ingredients in the tortillas & enjoy!
By: Allie McTighe MS, RD, LD
Source: The Inside Tract: What RDs Need to Know about the Gut Microbiome. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2013.