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5 Gut Friendly Vegetables to Feed Your Microbiome

Spring vegetables like leeks, asparagus, and onions are some of the gut-friendliest veggies around. They're among the high-fiber foods (a.k.a., the prebiotics) that your gut microbes crave and key components of Microbiome Diet.

Keeping your friendly gut bacteria well-fed helps them help you. And they've got a lot on their plate. They manufacture serotonin and vitamins B12 and K, fight pathogens, prep and protect the immune system, maintain gut health, and regulate metabolism, to name just a few responsibilities. To really thrill your beneficial microbes, consider cooking your fresh veggies with a lighter touch. Soft, overcooked veggies are broken down and digested before the good bacteria can get at 'em. So leave a little crunch. Also, eat further down the stalks -- for example, not just the soft tips of the asparagus but the more fibrous stems, too.

OK, let's get to the recipes. Here are 5 gut-friendly spring veggies and some top-rated recipes that feature them:

1. Leeks

Mild-tasting leeks are members of the onion family and are typically used just like onions as a flavor base for soups, stews, and other long-cooking dishes.

Mediterranean Style Leeks with Lemon

Mediterranean Style Leeks with Lemon | Photo by Molly

Leek Recipes:

2. Asparagus

Spring is for asparagus. Leave a little extra stem for your microbes to enjoy. Cook it gently -- or not at all!

Asparagus Pie

Asparagus Pie | Photo by Chef John

Asparagus Recipes:

3. Fennel

Fennel features a celery-like stem and flavor that's reminiscent of licorice. Eat it raw in salads or baked, roasted, and braised.

Fennel Soup

Fennel Soup | Photo by Caroline C

Fennel Recipes:

4. Artichokes

Artichokes are part of the thistle family. The edible leaves are actually the flower buds of the artichoke plant. Find out how to prep and prepare fresh artichokes.

Simply Roasted Artichokes

Simply Roasted Artichokes | Photo by Cynthia Ross

Artichoke Recipes:

5. Green Garlic/ Garlic Scapes

Ready in spring and early summer, garlic scapes are actually the stalks that grow out of the garlic bulbs. They're milder in flavor than garlic from the bulb and tasty in soups, pastas, and with eggs.

Cream of Green Garlic and Potato Soup

Cream of Green Garlic and Potato Soup | Photo by Hatshepsut

Green Garlic Recipes:

Check out our top-rated Microbiome Diet Recipes, for eating with a healthy gut in mind.


Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.