BLT

One of the biggest buzzwords in current media refers to the smallest subject: the human gut microbiome.

This microbiome is a collection of microorganisms living in the human intestinal tract; aka the “good gut bugs.” These good gut bugs help our gut produce compounds needed for digestion and absorption of other nutrients. They also provide protection against harmful “bugs” and support our immune system.

These good gut bugs have also been shown to promote brain health.

There is communication between the human microbiome and the brain, called the gut-brain axis.

This means the health of your gut microbiome may impact the health of your brain-a healthy gut leads to a healthy brain.

The best way to take care of your gut microbiome is to focus on your overall eating pattern.

• Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

• Choose fiber-rich foods because increasing fiber can promote abundance of gut bugs.

• Try fermented foods and foods with pre- and probiotics to improve the variety of your good gut bugs.

• Prebiotics are plant fibers that promote the growth of healthy bacteria. They are found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, including apples, asparagus, bananas, barley, flaxseed, garlic, jicama, leeks, oats, and onion.

• Probiotics contain specific strains of healthy bacteria. The most common probiotic food is yogurt; other sources include bacteria­ fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi.

Parmesan Crusted Asparagus Ingredients:

• 2-pounds asparagus rinsed and trimmed

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• ¼ cup grated parmesan.

• ¼ cup whole wheat panko bread c1umbs

• ½ teaspoon onion powder

• ¼ teaspoon paprika Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place asparagus into a large baking dish and drizzle olive oil evenly over asparagus

3. Roast asparagus for 15-20 minutes until tender.

4. While asparagus is roasting, combine panko bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, and parmesan cheese.

5. Remove asparagus from oven and lightly sprinkle with seasoned bread crumb mixture.

6. Return to oven for 5 more minutes, or until bread crumbs begin to lightly brown. Remove from oven and serve.

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