We’ve talked a lot about vegetarian recipes (today’s garbanzo bean recipe is a winner!) and healthy foods to heal your gut, so today I’m going to chat with you about 10 foods that I love to use with my clients and in my own kitchen for gut health and detox. As we know, 80% of our immune system is in our gut–so if you focus on maximizing your gut health and health flora (good bacteria) — you’re sure to have a healthy body.
Ready to get started?
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil improves digestive function and Leaky Gut; it’s anti-microbial and helps fight off harmful bacteria, fungus, and parasites that can contribute to Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut creates SO many problems for your immune system–trust me I’ve had it for years! Luckily, Coconut Oil strengthens your immune system by fighting off and helping you combat virus and bacteria that can cause disease. Add coconut oil in place of olive oil when cooking over high heat.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids that we need to quench inflammation. Your body needs these essential fatty acids to heal your gut. They help flush out your stomach when you are constipated and are great when soaked in water for a few minutes- they form a jello-like substance. Add a scoop to your smoothies or use them in place of eggs for your baking recipes!
3. Dark, Leafy Greens
You can’t go wrong eating more dark, leafy greens. They’re chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients to help fuel your immune system and are great for sweeping the gut clean. You can saute your greens in coconut oil with sea salt or serve them with avocado or olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. It’s SO important to pair these greens with a healthy fat so that you can absorb the vitamins in the greens!
4. Ground Flaxseeds
These seeds are super high in those Omega 3 fatty acids we spoke about above. Make sure you purchase ground flaxseeds because you won’t get any benefit from eating whole flaxseeds; you need them to be ground so they release their nutrients in your body. Add them to your gluten-free oatmeal, smoothies, soups and salads for a boost of flavor, protein and nutrients! They’re a multi-vitamin packed into a small seed- just check out the nutrient density of these seeds on their package.
Oregano has both anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. I use oil of oregano for issues like Candida and bacteria problems with my clients. Fresh oregano is also great to use on your food for a gut cleansing powerhouse.
Leeks are known as a prebiotic. Our gut contains trillions of microbes that help with our gut health. They protect us against infection, immune function and nutrient absorption. Prebiotics are fibers in food that the microbes in our gut eat! So, it’s important to fill up on them to nourish and flush your gut. Grill leaks with a drizzle of lemon juice for a flavorful side dish you can pair with any gluten-free whole grain such as wild rice or buckwheat.
Onions, are also a prebiotic, as we discussed above. Saute onions in coconut oil and add them to your quinoa or salad for a boost of prebiotic fiber to keep your gut healthy.
8. Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Sweet potatoes and yams are also prebiotics. As we discussed above, it’s great to eat these foods as often as possible to keep your gut flourishing with good bacteria. Roast sweet potatoes and yams or grill them for the spring with coconut oil, sea salt and rosemary!
Bananas are another prebiotic. You can eat them when they are nice and ripe or use them as a resistant starch when they are still green! Add bananas to your smoothies for a filling, sweet taste and a dose of prebiotics.
10. Kimchi and Sauerkraut
Probiotic foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria for our gut health! They have a sour taste and help produce good bacteria in your gut. Add kimchi and sauerkraut to your lunch or dinner as a condiment for a pop of flavor!
Now, onto your new tasty gut-friendly recipe….jump into this bowl of yummy sorghum (a gluten-free grain)!
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.
- 1 cup sorghum
- 1 15 ounce BPA-Free can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 head kale stemmed and chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado peeled, pitted and diced
- 1/4 cup diced white onion
- 2 roasted red bell pepper slices finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 small garlic clove pressed
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook sorghum according to package directions.
In a large serving bowl, combine cooked sorghum with remaining ingredients; toss to combine and serve.