By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Kefir is a tangy fermented drink made from milk or sweetened water that is great for gut health. The ‘tanginess’ is the result of bacteria and yeasts that use the sugars in the milk or water for fuel. This probiotic food is made by culturing fresh milk with kefir ‘grains’- which are live colonies of yeasts and bacteria. The bacteria ferment the milk and create a range of different substances, including calcium, potassium, protein, vitamins, acetate, and lactate.
Avocados are amazing and are packed with more than 18 nutrients. They are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats and contain a small amount of carbohydrate so great for helping balance sugar levels.
Berries are a fantastic source of antioxidants as-well as vitamins, minerals and fibre to help ‘zap’ those free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress in cells and thus helping prevent damage to the DNA, including the egg and sperm cells. They also help with cognitive function, keeping the brain healthy and helping lower inflammation in the body.
Chia are a good source of an Omega 3 fatty acid (Alpha linolenic acid – ALA for short), vitamin D, E and B along with fibre, iron, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, selenium, manganese and potassium. These fertility supporting seeds help provide energy, fight inflammation, reduce sugar cravings and regulate blood sugar levels, potentially benefitting those with PCOS.
Honey – possesses an array of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. It also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties (in particular raw and manuka honey).
Did you know? Research shows that the ’good’ probiotic bacteria found in kefir (acidophilus and bifido) multiply rapidly when they come into contact with honey- a prebiotic? Your gut will like this smoothie!
Gut healthy Kefir Morning Smoothie
(Makes 1 large glass or 2 smaller ones)
1 handful of each of the following: Fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
1 heaped tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tbsp of local runny honey
Place into a blender and whizz together! Enjoy!
Anand Mohan, Siew-Young Quek, Noemi Gutierrez-Maddox, Yihuai Gao, Quan Shu, Effect of honey in improving the gut microbial balance, Food Quality and Safety, Volume 1, Issue 2, 1 May 2017, Pages 107–115, https://doi.org/10.1093/fqsafe/fyx015