Today is World Vegetarian Day – the official kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month, celebrated every October. According to the North American Vegetarian Society, “World Vegetarian Day was established…to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.” In short, it is a day created to celebrate all the wonderful things that can come with a vegetarian diet!
There’s a lot of discussion around the health implications that come with the consumption of too much meat, so we turn to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, published by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), when planning our diets.
Our delicious Green Goddess Kefir Dressing is the perfect dip for your veggies! Probiotics + Prebiotics in one.
According to the CNPP, a healthy eating pattern includes variety above all. Specifically, they recommend consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, fat-free or low-fat dairy (including kefir), and a variety of protein foods (from plant and animal sources).
But let’s get back to fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Not only are these foods important because of their nutrients, but some of them are known as prebiotic foods. In short, prebiotic foods contain fibers that act as food for probiotics and aid digestion. You can read more about them in our blog post It Takes Two: Prebiotics and Probiotics.
Love Your Guts
Research has found that consuming a variety of foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics may support your body’s natural functions, including:
- improving your immune system
- supporting your colon health
- regulating your digestive system
Circling back to the CNPP’s dietary guidelines, the findings also concluded that 75% of people don’t consume enough vegetables, fruits and dairy to meet their recommendations. Translation: 75% of people aren’t consuming enough prebiotics and probiotics for optimal health!
So where does World Vegetarian Day come in? Why, it’s the perfect day to advocate for consuming more fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and cultured dairy! Moreover, it’s the perfect day to remind you of our favorite prebiotic foods and why you should consider adding them to your daily meals.
Superfood Spotlights: Cauliflower, Teff, and Cranberries
First up is potentially our favorite, bountiful Brassica – cauliflower! Not only is cauliflower an incredibly nutritious vegetable (it’s high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin K), it’s also a great source of gut-friendly prebiotics. Learn more in our Cauliflower Superfood Spotlight. Get the most prebiotic/probiotic bang for your buck by with this Paleo Pasta with Kefir Cauliflower Sauce.
Next up is teff, a gluten-free, poppy seed-sized grain harvested primarily in Ethiopia. Teff is rich in calcium, fiber, iron, protein and other trace minerals. It’s also rich in prebiotic resistant starch. According to some studies, resistant starches may help protect against bowel cancer. Discover more about teff in our Teff Superfood Spotlight. We like to prepare it like quinoa or amaranth – try using it as a base for this tasty Kefir Pesto Sauce.
Finally, we have cranberries! Coming into season in just a few weeks, cranberries are highly nutritious, but have a super short season. That means you should take advantage of their nutritional goodness while you can! Along with research showing they may support urinary tract health in women, cranberries are also great sources of gut-friendly prebitoics.
Our Cranberry Superfood Spotlight will give you a complete rundown on why we love them, but this Cranberry, Orange and Ginger Kefir Smoothie speaks for itself. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of our Cranberry Creme Brulee Kefir when it hits shelves!
Happy World Vegetarian Day!