With good weather forecast this Easter, we’re all craving free time with family and friends, hanging out in nature and having a break from the routine of life. Perfect for outdoor adventures, gardening, cooking, eating great food, and enhancing your beneficial bacteria.
It turns out that all these things are good for your gut bacteria. Just the simple act of going for a walk by the ocean or in the forest and deeply inhaling the smells of the bush or the sea, enriches your gut and beneficial bacteria. Those smells tell your body you are inhaling bacteria, fungi, or other micro-organisms that increase the diversity of your gut bacteria.
“One drop of seawater has about 10 million viruses in it so every drop of seawater that you inhale (because it’s aerosolized) you get a little bit in your mouth, you go for a swim in the ocean, you’re enriching your microbiome.”~ Dr Robert Rountree, Integrative Practitioner, Institute of Functional Medicine.
So it follows that playing with your pet, getting your hands dirty in the the soil, gardening and any activity in the great outdoors can increase the diversity of your good bacteria. And it also feels fantastic. Anything that feels that good and reduces your stress has to be good for your bacteria too!
Well, what about chocolate? Now here is surprising research. Beneficial bacteria including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus—strains in the Probiotic Foods range—like to ‘feast’ on cocoa. The microbes also break down the fibre found in cocoa powder, turning it into highly absorbable short fatty acid chains that nourish the gut wall and promote a feeling of fullness.
But we are talking cocoa powder (made from the roasted, husked and ground cacao seeds. If it’s not roasted, it’s raw cacao), not the milk chocolate substitute in industrial Easter Eggs. Bacteria in your gut actually break down and ferment the components in cocoa powder, turning them into absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit your health.
Why don’t you try your own raw cacao Easter treats this year to take on your nature adventures?
Everyone has their own version of Bliss Balls and here is ours. Play with the ingredients and reduce the sweetness and their candida causing potential with less dried fruit. Increase the healing potential with Probiotic Foods for Women which contains naturally fermented goji berries, queen garnet plum and pomegranate all high in antioxidants and natural sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners include Mesquite an ancient Peruvian staple food high in minerals and protein but low GI. Sweet with a nutty wild flavour that blends well with cacao and cinnamon.
2 cups of cashews
⅛ tps of coarse Himalayan/Macrobiotic salt
2 drops of pure vanilla essence
½ tsp of cinnamon
6 fresh dates (use mesquite, cinnamon or coconut sugar if you want to reduce sugar content)
1 Tbs of organic raisins
2 Tbs of Cacao butter
2 Tbs of cacao nibs
1/2 tsp of Probiotic Foods for Women
Blend the cashews and salt to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture resembles fudgy truffles. Roll in desiccated coconut for an extra serve of good fats.
Makes around 24 small balls.