• Nikki Gepner, RDN

Your gut microbiome is made of bacteria that impact your health in many ways including supporting your immune system to fight illnesses and infections, preventing diarrhea associated with traveling or use of antibiotics, and may aid in the management of irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis and are found to play a role in sleep, mood and controlling inflammation. Pretty amazing right?

Beneficial bacteria are often called probiotics. Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics and can be a delicious way to add diversity to your gut microbiome. Research is finding that different strains of probiotic bacteria have different functions in the body, therefore having diversity is important.

Choose one of the foods listed below each day to add beneficial bacteria and diversity to your microbiome. If you are new to eating these foods, choose one to start with, start with just a bite or sip a day, and increase your intake slowly. Just a spoonful or forkful of these fermented foods each day is all you need. If you feel gassy or bloated after eating one of these foods, try a smaller amount - go slow. If you still have issues, try a different type of fermented food.

Not tolerating any fermented foods? Consider working with a functional nutritionist to figure out what might be going on in your digestive tract and how to promote balance and relief.

  • Nikki Gepner, RDN

I started growing microgreens over the winter since I could no longer grow fresh greens outside and wanted something fresh and readily available when I couldn't get to the store. Fast-forward to now, I still don't have fresh greens growing outside as I have yet to plant my garden. 2019 has been busy! That's why I'm so grateful to have these delicious, nutrient-packed greens growing right on my windowsill. Microgreens are ready to eat in 7-14 days.

Microgreens grown right on the windowsill
Broccoli and radish microgreens

Microgreens are super easy to add to your current diet. I like to add raw microgreens just before eating meals to retain as many nutrients as possible. I usually toss them on top of scrambled eggs at breakfast, tacos, soups and salads.

There are so many things to love about microgreens besides convenience. Depending on the greens you choose they can have a mild or spicy flavor. Microgreens are loaded with antioxidants. If fact, a recent animal study found that red cabbage microgreens may help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation, which is promising for supporting cardiovascular health.

There are so many types of microgreens to choose from, where should you start? As with all foods, getting a variety is best, but if you were to choose just one type of green to grow for now, try one from the brassicaceae family. This would include broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi and more. So far the brassicaceae family has been shown to contain the highest amount of antioxidants. Look for seeds that are organic and non-GMO. I typically grow 3 types of microgreens in a single tray at a time. Don't be afraid to mix it up!

There are a couple ways to grow microgreens on your windowsill which include using coir fiber, which is what I use or potting soil. I started growing using this kit from Window Garden and found it very user friendly.

This post is not meant as an advertisement. I was not compensated for this post. All materials were purchased with my own funds.

These microgreens are just 1 week old and ready to harvest.
Broccoli and radish microgreens