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Alliums: A Prebiotic Powerhouse

Growing up in a Greek household, the kitchen was full of delicious Greek foods and aromas. The pantry was always stocked with different alliums like onions, garlic, and scallion rolling around.

They act as an essential element of the Greek diet and cuisine. Most Greek baked dishes and stews use them as a base and are often included raw such as in a traditional Greek village salad otherwise known as a χωριάτικη σαλάτα .

Aside from the aromatic addition it brings to stews or the vibrant crunch to a salad, is their uncanny nutritional capacity to do incredible things. One of which is the healthy amount of the prebiotic fibers it contains. Prebiotics (rather than probiotics) are specific plant fibers which good bacteria (like bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species) living in our gastrointestinal tract, specifically the colon, consume as their nourishment.

The three main prebiotic fibers - inulin, oligosaccharides, and resistant starch - all classify as such because they remain completely intact until they reach the colon where good bacteria lives. Here they munch on these specific fibers giving them what they need to thrive and maintain a healthy community.

Our gut bacteria work for us in which i.e. they act as a bacterial army for our immune system, regulating our response against invaders. Through the fermentation process, they produce short chain fatty acids which assist neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin in regulating our mood, stress response, and sleep wake cycle.

Bottom line, onions and other alliums, provide fuel for your gut bacteria, supporting them in doing their work in keeping us healthy, happy, and thriving!

Consider having this Greek salad 👇🏻 with red onion and some scallion, and thank me later 😎

🥗🍅🥒🍋 (Serves 4)

1 large cucumber

2 green peppers

4 vine ripened tomatoes

1 red onion

Bunch of scallions

10 kalamata olives

8 oz Greek feta cheese

1/2 cup good quality Greek olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano


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