Did you know that you can learn more about your health and weight by examining the DNA of the micro-organisms in your gut than examining your own genes? Your gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria and a host of yeast and viruses, know collectively as the microbiome. 38% of their genes are identical to ours and research is now demonstrating that foreign microbial DNA is crucial to the proper functioning of our own genes. We can't do much to change our own genes, which are largely fixed before birth, but we can influence the genetic content of our microbiome by the choices we make.
It's now widely recognised that changes in our gut microbes brought about by changes in our diet and environment play a part in the obesity epidemic and the rise in chronic disease. Our distant ancestors were probably eating around 150 different ingredients a week, where now most people eating a western diet consume fewer than 20 separate food items, many of which are highly refined.
If you think of your own microbial community as a garden, the best way to keep your soil (intestines) and plants (microbes) healthy and stop weeds (toxins and disease) taking over is to cultivate a wide range of plants. You can do this by eating a diverse diet and the following foods will help maintain a flourishing microbiome:
Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel, green peas, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage, custard apples, nectarines, watermelon, pomegranate, grapefruit, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, cashews & pistachios.
So, give your microbiome a treat and try these Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Spiced Cashews.
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
- 4 Cups of Raw Cashews
- 1 Tbsp of Turmeric
- 1 Tsp of Salt
- Cracked Pepper to taste (optional)
- Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat.
- Add the cashews and toss them in the oil.
- Sprinkle the turmeric over the cashews and continue to toss them in the pan to avoid burning until golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle the salt over the cashews.
- Add cracked pepper to taste.
- Leave the cashews to cool completely then store in an airtight container.