Plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet.

The absolute best medicine for gut health.

Recently I wrote about the link between gut health and mental health. My own experience and plenty of scientific research shows that because 90% of our Serotonin & Dopamine are stored in the gut, the healthier our digestive microflora are, the better our state of mind & the less prone we are to suffer from anxiety & depression.

  • ½ cup unsweetened Coconut yoghurt

  • 1 tspn Apple cider vinegar

  • ½ Avocado

  • ½ cup Activated Almonds

  • 1 cup Raspberries

  • 1/3 cup Goji

  • 1 Dragonfruit

  • Juice of 2 Limes

Prebiotics are foods that are high in fibre and help to feed the existing good bacteria in your gut to keep it healthy: red berries, artichokes, apples, almonds, green peas, lentils, garlic, onions & chicory, activated seeds. Probiotics are foods that stimulate the growth of good bacteria: fermented foods such as yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut.
I’ve been playing around with various recipes that make the most of these categories of foods for a while; a poke bowl with a base of activated seeds, lightly fermented beetroot, daikon, onion & ginger topped with ceviche of salmon & avocado…raw hummus made with activated chickpeas, au natural or flavoured with fresh herbs or spices or roast pumpkin or beetroot…even a raw kulfi made with coconut yogurt & raspberries, almonds & coconut sugar. But the easiest way to boost the probiotic content of my diet, especially when I’m busy and it’s super hot here in Bali, is with a smoothie. I stole a visual idea for these dragonfruit smoothie bowls from a friend who posts gorgeous images on Instagram. The trick to making a pretty picture of them is all in the presentation. Scoop the pulp of the dragonfruit out for your smoothie and retain the shells to serve the smoothie in. Garnish with flowers, berries & activated seeds and nuts – think contrasting colour, size & shape – give it your own signature look & feel. Feel free to alter the quantities in this recipe to suit your taste but follow the general guidelines of ingredients.
This is the kind of food that is light yet completely satisfying, that doesn’t have you feeling bloated & gassy half an hour later. It’s full of flavour and natural fats, which feed your brain and teach your body to burn fats for long-lasting energy, rather than sugars for quick peaks followed by long dips – energy-wise. Try it, & let me know what you think.
I love this so much I’m planning to include it in the May Bali Yoga and Fitness Retreat Workshop – lucky retreat goers!
Before juicing the limes, remove some of the zest in strips for garnishing. I have a handy citrus zester for this but you can use a vegetable peeler to remove strips and then a sharp knife to thinly slice these lengthways. Also retain a few goji, raspberries & almonds for garnishing. I like to use a fruit baller tool to make a couple of dragonfruit balls for decoration but flowers work too – you can kind of let your creativity go a bit wild with this one – if you feel like it, & if you have the time!
Place all the remaining ingredients in blender and blitz until smooth. Taste. You may want to add more lime juice or a little honey. Spoon the smoothie mix into the dragonfruit shells & refrigerate for a couple of hours. Indulge your inner artist using the garnishing ingredients & whatever you fancy to make these smoothie bowls look pretty.
Mind you, if you’re in hurry you will get just as much nutritive benefit from this if you simply add an ice cube or two while blitzing and drink straight away. Aaaah!