Basics For Healthy Eating, Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods For a Healthy Gut

Stonyfield greek yogurt

Large Carton of Greek Yogurt

Probiotics introduce new bacteria, like that list you see on the yogurt container below. They must be kept cold to live. Yogurt is my current choice when it comes to introducing good bacteria in the form of a probiotic. I buy the big container of Stonyfield’s plain, whole milk Greek yogurt.

Yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in recipes (although this will kill the cultures), or on baked potatoes. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast and stir in blueberries, nuts, shredded coconut and a little real maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

This container of yogurt lasts me up to seven days.  It’s easy to keep this on hand and eat it throughout the week.
*One warning about yogurt and dairy is that it contains phosphorus, and that is something WE (those of us with kidney problems) have to keep to a minimum. This carton doesn’t mention phosphorus, but I’ve read that it’s not mandatory for it to be listed. Must do more digging into that.

yogurt live cultures

6 Live Active Cultures Are Listed

Onions and Garlic

Now on to the Prebiotics, which I enjoy eating most. These are prebiotic foods that act to enhance the way our intestines work. Both Pro and Prebiotics come in supplement form, but I prefer to eat prebiotic food.

Prebiotics are eaten to help continue to grow the good bacteria already in our system. It’s actually prebiotic fiber that is needed, so eating these vegetables raw is better than eating them cooked. But a stir fry works, if the veggies stay crisp.

Two easy to use PRE-biotics I always have in my kitchen are onions and garlic. Adding onion and garlic to food is easy.  Both vegetables add wonderful flavor to salad, soup, stew, pizza, casseroles, sandwiches and almost anything. Once I slice an onion, I keep part in the fridge in an airtight container, while I use the amount I need. Knowing it’s already peeled and ready to use makes it easy to slice off what I want for each meal.

I used to grow my own garlic in the north. I’m not sure garlic will grow in the south. I’ve tried and failed. So I buy the cloves and keep them with my potatoes and onions in a big bowl.

onion and garlic

Prebiotics, Onion and Garlic

Flaxseed is something I’ve eaten for a long time now. Regular flax seeds are dark brown, and then there are the golden variety. Nutrition is the same, I believe. Flax seeds must be ground before eating to get the benefits.

I’ve read in numerous places that flax is GOOD FOR THE KIDNEYS, and seems to be very helpful for PKD. Buy bags of whole seeds and grind your own for freshness. Sprinkle on salads, into homemade soup, and use in muffins, pancakes, and homemade cookies. They taste nutty, and will thicken sauces.

flaxseed

Golden Flaxseed

More Pre-biotics

Dandelion greens are high on this list, but I have no dandelions in my yard now. In the north, I used to pick them to make tea, but the greens are good for salads and stir fry meals.  Make sure you pick from a place that has not been treated with insecticides. Or buy organic dandelion supplements and tea. The root of the dandelion is also good for you, and the yellow flowers can be eaten.

dandelion greens

Smaller Leaves of the Dandelion Are Best

Asparagus has good fiber content. I don’t eat it raw, but lightly grilled, or added to a quick stir fry.

asparagus stalks

Raw asparagus

Kidney beans, and most all beans, are a good prebiotic, but beans contain varying amounts of phosphorus and *kidney beans are extremely high in potassium. Check labels if you are watching your phosphorus potassium intake.

kidney beans

Lentils

Jerusalem artichokes are high on the almost every list of prebiotic foods I’ve come across. I’ve never eaten them. I don’t know if my local grocery store carries them, but I plan to look.

Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke

Bananas are full of good nutrients, but WE have to be careful. They are high in potassium, which WE have to watch. WE can’t follow any one program, diet, or the advice of one individual. PKD is a unique disease, which requires knowledge. I’ve been researching it since I was diagnosed. I went to a doctor in the beginning, then a Homeopath. Now, I don’t have insurance. I’d love to see what a dietician would tell me, but I’d need to see a doctor first, have tests and who knows what. Nothing is simple, and you can’t get your way with the medical profession. You must jump through their expensive hoops.

yellow bananas

Bananas are a Pre-biotic food

So what kind of recipes, or meals, can we make to use this good food most? In general, salads, veggie wraps, homemade soup, and stir fry all work well when trying to stick to a mostly vegetarian diet.

If we can learn to eat simple, eating natural foods like the ones listed here, it will go a long way to improving our health.

leeks in pot

Leeks are a pre-biotic

(Photo credits: www.Pixabay.com)

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