Most of the immune system is located in the gut. Therefore, one way to support immune system heath and digestive health throughout pregnancy is eating a diet rich in prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Probiotic-rich fermented foods are all the rage right now, and evolving research is only just beginning to scratch the surface about the benefits of probiotics for general health and wellbeing. Good bacteria can aid digestive health and support a healthy microbiome. Adding probiotic ingredients to meals is an excellent step to assist in maintaining healthy gut microflora.
Prebiotics contain specific fibers and natural sugars that nourish good bacteria—the natural members of the microbiome.
The abundance of prebiotic and probiotic food available makes it easy for pregnant women to add these ingredients to their diet, with minimal effort.
The below prebiotic-packed recipes contain ingredients that help support your gut microbiome, so your microbiome can support you.
This is a classic recipe, and it is delicious. Tangy and filling, this soup is packed full of prebiotics and some probiotics that help maintain everyday health and wellbeing during pregnancy, while brimming with delicious veggies.
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps wiped clean
- 1 large leek, root and dry leafy ends trimmed, cleaned and finely diced
- 1 cup finely diced carrot
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or vegetable broth)
- 2 cups diced parsnip or potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional, but very good)
- 2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
- 2 1/2 cups sauerkraut, with juices
- 1/2 cup sauerkraut juice (or more vegetable broth)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- A few twists cracked black pepper
Chopped fresh dill or parsley
- Slice mushroom caps in half, then into quarters to create bite-size mushroom pieces. In a 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté the leek, carrot, and celery in vegetable oil for 6 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and mushrooms and sauté for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until mushrooms have reduced in size and released most of their liquid.
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in parsnip, vegetable broth, bay leaves, allspice, caraway seeds (if using), marjoram, sauerkraut, sauerkraut juice, and ground black pepper. Increase heat and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, stir occasionally and cover.
- Simmer the soup for 35 to 40 minutes or until the parsnips are tender. Remove the bay leaves, turn off the heat and season with cracked black pepper and salt if necessary and garnish with parsley.
- Allow soup to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Gut Health Green Smoothie
Easy to make, and great for pregnant women on the go – the Gut Health Green Smoothie is packed full of the prebiotics that fuel the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- 3 whole kiwis – skin removed
- ½ cup cucumber, skinned and chopped
- 1 stalk of celery
- A handful of baby spinach
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- ½ cup – 1 cup of filtered coconut water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender and enjoy!
When it comes to pregnancy, supplements such as the Life-Space Probiotic for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding may be a good choice for supporting healthy levels of beneficial bacteria. This premium 15 strain probiotic supports the mother’s immune system and digestive health and also contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 which when taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding and given to the baby throughout their first 2 years of life, may reduce the risk of young children with a family history developing eczema.
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