Chances are, you’ve heard a lot about probiotics, friendly bacteria that inhabit our digestive tracts and appear to confer a range of health benefits. But science is increasingly turning its attention to prebiotics, forms of fiber that are indigestible by humans but function to promote the growth and maintenance of our gut microbiota.
Take, for instance, a recent investigation performed by scientists in Belgium. For a 2-week period, 26 healthy individuals were assigned to a test diet that included high intakes of foods rich in inulin-type fructans, prebiotics found in onions, leeks, asparagus, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes and edamame.
Analysis of tests, including fecal microbiota composition, revealed that the prebiotic-enhanced diet not only resulted in an uptick in the population of desirable gut bugs, including Bifidobacterium, but also increased satiety levels while reducing cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. That makes this edamame sandwich spread a gut-friendly, hunger-taming addition to your lunchbox.
2 C frozen shelled edamame
1/2 C cilantro
1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t salt
4 large whole-grain wraps
2 C sliced cooked chicken
2 medium carrots, sliced into matchsticks
1 C sliced roasted red pepper
2 C baby spinach
Prepare edamame according to package directions. Drain and let cool. In a food processor, blend together edamame, avocado, cilantro, chipotle chili pepper, garlic, lemon juice, cumin powder and salt until slightly chunky. Spread edamame mixture on wraps and then place chicken, carrot, roasted red pepper and spinach over bottom thirds of wraps. Roll tightly, folding in the sides as your roll, and slice in half. Makes four servings.