Why do I have to eat these asparagus, my niece asked me. She’s four, and it was a good question. I decided to be simple though truthful. Gut bugs, I said; we need to feed the good ones so they keep the bad ones out of business, and they love asparagus. Oh, she said, taking a beat to think. That makes sense, she mused, dead serious; they can’t go shopping. What else do they like, she asked, munching her way through an asparagus spear.
I’m glad she’s learning early. Mineral absorption depends heavily on healthy gut bugs so let’s feed them what they like most – prebiotics. Prebiotics are nondigestible fibers. The most studied are oligosaccharides and inulin found in food such as chicory, burdock, raw asparagus, leeks, garlic, onion and beet root, globe artichoke, dandelion greens, barely-ripe bananas, jicama, and Jerusalem artichoke. Scientists are searching for and studying additional nondigestible fibers, and research suggests mushrooms, wild blueberries, kiwis, alfalfa, mung and apples may also be healthy options for the good bugs within.
So here’s a picture of today’s lunch – a bonanza for bones and the good gut bugs.
Combine no-mayo coleslaw with well-drained raw fermented sauerkraut, alfalfa sprouts, sliced yellow carrot, sliced jicama, slivers of raw red onion, a bit of chopped raw fennel, snipped fresh organic dill, two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of Hellman’s Real mayonnaise. Serve with fresh-baked organic chicken thighs or leftover thick-sliced chicken breast with gravy and baked garlic cloves.