There's nothing like the zeal of the convert, and ever since I started getting regular doses of probiotics in my diet, I can't shut up about 'em.
After years of having a constantly grumpy tummy, the belly is soothed and I feel my overall health is better. Thank you, gut flora.
Fermented milk products like yogurt or kefir are an obvious way to get the probiotic party started, but not everyone eats dairy, so those folks can look to fermented plant products like pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso and kombucha for their healthy bacteria.
I eat yogurt almost daily now and have a happy flora party rocking out in my guts, so as a good party host, I want to make sure my little guests have snacks they enjoy.
As it turns out, gut flora like soybeans, unrefined oats, wheat and barley and foods that contain inulin, like onions, garlic, jicama, burdock, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root and dandelion.
So in that spirit, this wellness resolution is all about getting (and growing) my active cultures. I'll now be on the lookout for ways to boost inulin, like adding jicama to my favorite mango salsa. After all, what's a probiotic party without salsa?
Jicama Mango Salsa (Makes 6 to 8 servings)
1 lb jicama (1 medium root): peeled diced
1 medium cucumber: peeled, seeded and diced
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine diced jicama, cucumber and mango with minced onion, jalapeno and cilantro.
2. In another bowl, mix together the cumin and lime juice. Slowly pour in the olive oil, incorporating it with a whisk.
3. Dress the jicama-mango mix with the lime dressing and season to taste with salt. Spoon over grilled meat, chicken or fish, or serve with tortilla chips or tacos.
Two more wellness resolutions on the way...
To our health!