The stunning truth about your gut!! Did you know that the little critters in your gut may be calling the shots when it comes to your health?? From gaining or losing weight, allergies, inflammatory bowel disorders, diabetes, and would you believe it-food cravings, these little microbes may be influencing all these conditions, based upon emerging scientific evidence. No wonder the gut microbiome is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting and promising frontiers in medicine today!
Gut friendly foods: This means that the foods that help your gut bacteria thrive, are also emerging as key contributors of good health. Long touted as super foods, with the emergence of the gut microbiome, fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir have been basking in the spot light as we discover how probiotics ( friendly bacteria), can influence host immune response. If you are serious about improving your health, you need to start from the inside out, so please scroll down to read more on the all-important probiotics in my Registered Dietitian’s tip below. In the mean time, dig into this refreshing yogurt jello, just in time for summer!
In this recipe, luscious berries are served atop a cantaloupe flavored yogurt jello to create a dessert that looks like you slaved over it, but in reality can be assembled in a snap!
Makes 3 servings
- 1 cup fresh, chopped cantaloupe
- 1 cup low-fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey + 1 tsp for topping (optional)
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2-2/3 cup each, of fresh blueberries and raspberries
- Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
- Blend cantaloupe and yogurt in a blender. Set aside.
- In a bowl, stir gelatin into the boiling water until completely dissolved.
- Stir in the honey, followed by the cantaloupe-yogurt mixture.
- Transfer yogurt jello into dessert glasses as shown in the picture.
- Chill for a couple of hours until set.
- Spread the berry sauce* on the surface of the yogurt equally between the 3 dessert glasses.
- Arrange blueberries and raspberries alternately on the top of the yogurt jello.
- Drizzle the remaining honey if desired or top with powdered sugar
*For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup -1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2-1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp water
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir on medium heat until raspberries soften and “dissolve”.
- Keep stirring until sauce thickens.
- Set aside to cool.
Registered Dietitian’s tip: To put it simply, these friendly bacteria help protect your gut barrier, preventing harmful bacteria and their products from slipping across the gut wall into the sterile core of the body and the blood stream, where they could subsequently triggering inflammation, the basis of all chronic disease.
Evolutionary co-adaptation: In fact, our intestinal friends (consisting of a staggering 100 trillion cells), have co-evolved with us since the dawn of time, providing us not only with the enzymes to degrade complex carbohydrates, and extract vital amino acids and vitamins, but also modulate the immune response, and set the inflammatory tone in our bodies. When we harbor a thriving and diverse “microbiota” as it is now called, where beneficial bacteria predominate, out competing harmful bacteria, the mood shifts towards decreased inflammation in the body and improved health.
Fuel for friendly bacteria: Our modern world of manufactured foods, many of which are processed to the point where most, if not all life-giving nutrients are wiped out, do not allow our bacterial inhabitants to thrive and prosper. What does stimulate the growth of our microbial friends is the regular consumption of whole and unprocessed foods, rich in prebiotic fibers (onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, artichokes, etc), and fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir that can virtually “inoculate” your gut with a healthy dose of these invisible critters.
What’s safe? The most commonly consumed “probiotic bacteria” in products in the United States are strains of different species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, as well as the yeast Sacccharomyces cerevesiae. Probiotics that contain these microbes as well as Streptococcus thermophilus have extensive safety profiles, and are thus considered safe for use in generally healthy populations. However, folks who are immunocompromised in any way, recovering from surgery, or who have compromised gut integrity should take probiotics only under the supervision of a health care provider.
Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your specific needs.