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Healthy Eating

Unlock the Secret to a Happy, Healthy Gut

By Dylan Bailey, MS Candidate

A Happy, Healthy Gut

Here at Libby’s, we understand the importance of enjoying family meals together, and a crucial component of that is having a happy and healthy gut. After all, can you truly enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones if your GI system is out of whack? We think not. Although this issue is now being researched and discussed more openly, most of us still remain in the dark about how we can improve it. That changes today! Read on to learn the key to unlocking a healthy gut.

Let’s start with the basics. Your gut flora – scientifically speaking – is the complex and diverse community of microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. The tract is home to some 39 trillion bacteria, which is more than the number of cells that make up the human body! These invisible heroes are vital to a happy, healthy gut, and can have huge impacts on your overall health.

So, who are these heroes? There are three types of functional substances you should know about:  

Sauerkraut, cucumber pickles and yogurt


  • Prebiotics are foods with “non-digestible” components that help strengthen and grow your gut flora. Essentially, they’re food for your gut. Examples of prebiotics include vegetables—like corn or peas—as well as whole wheat, grains and fruits, like apples or bananas.


  • Probiotics, on the other hand, are the live bacteria that can be ingested as part of whole foods (like in yogurt or sauerkraut) or even in supplements. They play a major role in helping us enjoy all the scrumptious meals we eat by fighting off diseases and assisting in digestion.


  • What do you get when you combine prebiotics and probiotics? The answer is simple: synbiotics! These bacteria combine both pre- and probiotics and stimulate the healthy bacteria in your large intestine.

Get Happy, Gut Happy

Pork, Sauerkraut & Potato Skillet Supper


Fortunately, properly nourishing your gut can be simple, budget-friendly and most importantly, tasty! Set yourself on a path towards optimal gut health with this recipe for savory and wholesome Pork, Sauerkraut & Potato Skillet Supper. Made with Libby’s® Potatoes and Libby’s® Sauerkraut, the dish combines apples, sauerkraut, and potatoes, providing both food and new friends for your existing gut flora community. From our table to yours, we wish you happy mealtimes – and happy gut health! 

Perfect the Picnic: Recipes for Al Fresco Feasting

Is it just us or is summer whizzing by? Before we know it, we’ll be back in back-to-school mode. Until then, soak up the last of these lazy days with the kids. One particularly fun and no-fuss way to do so is with a picnic. The following recipes are quick, healthy and ideal for open-air dining. Plus, they’re all finger-friendly, so you can ditch your cutlery and dig in!


Dip Into This


Start things off on a healthy high note with this Sweet Pea Dip, a light, creamy and easy peas-y concoction starring Libby’s® Sweet Peas. It’s a dipping delight with pita bread, raw veggies and multi-grain crackers, and you can also spread any leftovers on the next day’s sandwiches (although we’re betting it will be devoured on-site!).

Whimsical Meets Wholesome

Research has shown that giving nutritious food a fun name increases a child’s likelihood of eating it. Test out the theory yourself with these Green Wheels and Ham Sandwiches, made with Libby’s® Cut Green Beans, whole-wheat tortillas, ham and spreadable cheese. They’re tasty, quick to pull together and easily portable—a prime pick for a picnic.

Mini Morsels


The only thing better than cake is cake you can eat with your hands. Complete your feast with these gooey, guilt-free Carrot Cake Bites. They’re full of whole wheat flour and Libby’s® Sliced Carrots and low in sugar and fat. Go ahead – have another…it’ll be one less thing to pack up!

Hungry Minds: The Best Brain Foods

By Kristin Kessler, RD

Food can feed your belly, food can feed your soul, but did you also know that food can feed your brain? While an overall healthy diet is important to keep your brain functioning at top speed, certain foods can boost brain function. Try some of our favorite brainy foods to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients your hungry mind needs.


Opt for Omega-3 Fatty Acids


With all of the positive press, it should come as no surprise that foods containing a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids are number one on this list! Feed your brain with this light and refreshing Salmon & Dill Green Bean Salad, perfect for warm summer nights. If you’re not a salmon fan, substitute another fatty fish such as mackerel or tuna. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish, pick up flaxseed oil or walnuts during your next trip to the grocery store.

Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods


Have you ever heard of the gut-brain connection? It may sound like something from a science fiction movie, but recent research has taught us that our gastrointestinal system and brain are much more connected than we thought. Keep your intestines happy and healthy with gut-friendly bacteria called probiotics, which can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. For your next dinner, try out this Chickpea and Kraut Pasta Toss. To maximize intake of probiotics, avoid heating the sauerkraut too much or serve it on the side at room temperature. Your gut and brain will thank you!

Whole Grains for the Brain

You can literally feed your hungry mind by opting for whole grains throughout the day. The brain’s favorite supply of energy comes in the form of glucose. Whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice and oatmeal are rich in whole grains and release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, helping you to keep you feeling happy and mentally alert throughout the day. The brown rice in this Creamy Coconut & Veggie Brown Rice Pilaf with Honey Roasted Pecans will help keep you sharp as a tack.