The importance of probiotics is becoming more evident and the use of fermented foods is a great way to get healthy bacteria in your system. Research shows that a probiotic-rich diet has numerous health benefits, from enhancing your digestive and cardiovascular health to having a positive effect on your mood.
Unfortunately, there are many things within our daily routine or lifestyle that could be detrimental to our good gut bacterial growth. Here are some good suggestions to help improve and maintain healthy bacteria levels:
• Avoid the overuse of antibiotics.
• Drink filtered, unchlorinated water.
• Reduce stress.
• Eat healthy fiber, which is needed in the gut for proper bacteria growth.
• Cut back on sugar intake.
• Eat fermented foods, which are chock-full of probiotics and other nutrients.
Kefir, sauerkraut and miso are some of the most common fermented foods and are easily found in grocery stores. One of my favorites, though, is tempeh. Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food produced from whole soybeans naturally fermented and bound together. The fermentation process breaks down the soybeans into an easily digestible food that has a nutritional profile similar to meat. High in protein, iron, and calcium, tempeh should be on your “must-try” list.
Consider the following recipe if you want to try something new. Gluten free and vegan, this recipe is simple and tasty and perfect for Meatless Monday!
Sweet and Sour Tempeh
1 Tbsp Braggs apple cider vinegar
6 Tbsp water
1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 Tbsp low-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce
1 inch raw ginger, peeled and minced fine
Dash of freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks
12 oz tempeh, cut into cubes
In a bowl, combine vinegar, water, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add onion and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrot and peppers; stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Add juice mixture and pineapple chunks. Cover and cook for a further 7 to 10 minutes. Remove lid and add tempeh cubes; cook till just heated through.
Remove from heat and serve immediately on brown rice!
Photo from here, with thanks.