Kefir Blueberry Breakfast Bowl
Each of us has about a kilo and half (three to four pounds) of bacteria in our digestive system, the long tube which goes from mouth to anus. The highest density of this bacteria, known as the microbiome, or microbiota, is found in the colon, which is the last chamber of the digestive tract. This bacteria used to be considered benign and of no medical interest, until recently when scientists discovered otherwise. There is still no clear consensus on exactly what a healthy microbiome looks like, but what everyone does seem to agree on, is that a microbiome full of lots of different types of bacteria (known as having high diversity), and showing presence of particular ones such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, usually goes hand in hand with good gut health and a strong immune system, healthy skin and weight, and healthy brain.
Where kefir comes into all of this is two fold. It contains lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in high doses, and also helps diversity too – more than 50 different types of bacteria can be found in kefir. When you drink kefir (it has the consistency of a drinking yoghurt), these bacteria travel through the digestive tract to colonise the colon. The immune system resides in the gut too, so these friendly bacteria are in constant dialogue with your immune system, making sure it is working right to keep you healthy.
The bacteria in your gut is also in constant cross talk with your brain via a nerve, which is like a long phone line running from gut to brain, called the vagus (this is a very new and exciting area of research). So when your microbiome is teeming with good bacteria, and lots of different types, it can help support your brain health – mood, helping you think straight, sleep, and protect your brain from ageing too.
- A handful of blueberries (fresh or defrosted from frozen)
- 240ml fermented kefir
- 1 tablespoon of flax seeds (also known as linseeds)
- A handful of chopped walnuts
- A teaspoon of raw honey (raw honey is prebiotic so can help feed up the bacteria in your gut too)
Put the berries in a bowl, pour over the kefir, sprinkle the flax seeds and walnuts over, and top with the honey.