Well & Aware

Four Fast Facts You Should Know About Your Microbiome

Celebrity chef and nutritionist Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, and editor in chief of TheHealthyApple.com, has spent the last decade of her life focused on her microbiome—the trillions of microorganisms that live in everyone’s gut—because of her chronic digestive issues. Your microbiome is responsible for a number of metabolic functions, most importantly metabolizing food, which is why it may be worthwhile to take a closer look at yours. Read on to see Amie’s thoughts on taking care of your internal gut flora, and be sure to check out her recipe created exclusively for Beautycounter.

1. “Your microbiome is like an internal ecosystem that needs to be nourished. Fiber serves as food for many bacteria in your gut, so I choose to eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables, beans, and lentils. Garlic attacks the bad bacteria in the gut while allowing good bacteria to thrive. Probiotics found in organic yogurt, kefir, and probiotic drinks like kombucha are also ideal.”

2. “Healthy guts have been linked to healthy outcomes. The microbiome is closely linked to the immune system, so healthy gut flora may have a positive impact on allergies and mean that your body can better absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. It may also be linked to brain health, which means better mental health and an increased ability to stave off depression.”

3. “Eating fermented foods helps build your internal flora. Fermented foods are rich in enzymes, which help us to properly absorb nutrients in the body. And fermented foods may support good bacteria in the gut, which can be depleted as a result of antibiotics in the foods we eat and lead to imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract. Try organic sauerkraut or kimchi in your salads, soups, or whole grain dishes like the recipe I created, below.”

4. “Certain foods can damage your microbiome. Refined and artificial sugars, especially high-fructose corn syrup, can do a number on your gut. Pollution, stress, and unfiltered water can also break down your body’s microbiome, which may in turn impact your immune system.”

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Beautycounter Buddha Bowl With
Creamy Cashew Dressing


Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free

My Buddha Bowls are a mix of gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free grains, veggies, nuts, seeds, avocado, and lots of fresh herbs and spices. They’re a great way to use up leftovers in your fridge and your leafy greens before they start wilting. Add any combo of your favorite finely chopped veggies, raw nuts or seeds, and diced avocado on top of a gluten-free grain for your very own Buddha Bowl. Here’s one I created just for Beautycounter. Check out more of my detoxifying recipes on my website, TheHealthyApple.com.
Serves 4.

Buddha Bowl

• 2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1 head dinosaur kale, finely chopped
• 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
• 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 1 cup wild or brown rice
(you can also use quinoa, millet, or another gluten-free grain)
• Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Creamy Cashew Dressing

• ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours then rinsed well
• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 2 tsp. tahini
• 1 small garlic clove
• Pinch sea salt
• 4 tbsp. water plus more if needed

Cook rice (or other gluten-free grain) according to package instructions. Rub olive oil onto kale leaves, and massage until very soft. Add to a large bowl with remaining Buddha Bowl ingredients and cooked rice. Puree all the dressing ingredients in a high-speed blender until very smooth; drizzle over Buddha Bowl and serve warm.


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