Feed Your Flora

By Pamela Bond

Popping probiotics and still having digestive problems? Here’s a novel solution: Gobble a handful of almonds. The Institute of Food Research recently reported that almonds act as prebiotics that function as food for probiotics—the good bacteria that restore a healthy balance of gut flora. “This results in better digestion, fewer infections, and less inflammation,” says Gary Huffnagle, PhD, author of The Probiotics Revolution (Bantam, 2007) and a professor of internal medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E, protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats.

Some nutty ideas:
* Sprinkle chopped almonds on pancakes, oatmeal, or yogurt.
* Boil chicken, and let cool in the fridge. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and add chopped celery, grapes, and whole almonds. Mix with low-fat mayonnaise for a nutrient-packed chicken salad.
* Top whole-grain bread with almond butter, sliced cucumber, and spinach leaves.