Spring, is that you? Wave goodbye to winter and say hello to the season of new beginnings with our Spring Awakening Toast. It’s fresh strawberries, cool cucumber, and earthy pine nuts piled on top of a gut-healthy spread of our tart and tangy farmer cheese and toasted bread. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C to support immune health; cucumbers are made of 96% water and contain antioxidants, which are molecules that neutralize free radicals roaming throughout the body and protect cells from oxidative stress; and farmer cheese is an Eastern European soft cheese that may balance the microbiome and support immunity with its 13 grams of protein per serving and 12 live and active probiotic cultures. It’s the tasteful way to celebrate Toast Tuesday.
Your Gut Matters
Eating habits also play a role in mental health. Research has shown that probiotic-rich foods decrease anxiety and boost the mood. That makes kefir a great wellbeing tool because it contains 12 live and probiotic cultures. Psychiatrist James Greenblatt explained that “‘the gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain.’” As research continues to develop, it’s becoming more and more apparent that there is a link between the gut and the brain. What was once suspected as one-way communication (brain to gut) is now understood to be more of a two-way system. Thus, the health of our gut may directly impact the health of our minds.
Prebiotics + Probiotics = a Healthy You
Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible carbohydrates naturally found in a variety of foods. Your body actually can’t digest prebiotics, so they’re what probiotics feed off of to remain actively working in your digestive system. They help the digestive system by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together in balance to make sure our digestive system stays on track and regular. Research has found that consuming a variety of prebiotic and probiotic food sources may improve your body’s natural functions, including both your immune and digestive system.
With increasing research linking the correlation between probiotics, gut health, and immunity, it’s no secret that the integrity of our gut is vital to our health. Although additional factors such as stress, antibiotic usage, and individual health conditions can contribute to the condition of our gut, a focus on healthy food choices is one of the easiest ways to support the microbiome.
Several studies have shown a strong association between the gut-brain-microbiota. Probiotics introduced to the gut have been found to support immunity, improve allergies, and improve digestion.
- two slices of toasted bread
- 4-6 tbsp Farmer Cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cucumber. sliced
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- salt & pepper for garnish
- option: pine nuts
- In a bowl toss together strawberries, cucumber, mint, parsley, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Slather toasted bread with farmer cheese and top with the salad mixture and pine nuts.