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Gut Health

Happy Gut, Happy Life: Gut-Friendly Recipes

Happy Gut, Happy Life: Gut-Friendly Recipes
Writer and expert17 days ago
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As the saying goes, we are what we eat. It therefore stands to reason that what we consume can play a big part in the health of our bodies, and particularly our gut. However, understanding that and knowing what we should be eating are two very different things. Even when presented with a list of foods that are good for our health, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to turn them into something truly appetising.

Which is why we thought it would be helpful to pull together some of the best gut friendly recipes which are not only great for your gut health but also easy to make and delicious too! Read on to find out more about which foods benefits your gut and how to turn them into tasty meals that everyone will love.

Which foods are good for your gut?

One of the best foods for your gut is live yogurt. This is because yogurt is often packed full of gut-friendly bacteria known as probiotics. These can be very good for promoting your gut health - just make sure to avoid the brands which are laden with sugar.

Kefir works in a similar way and takes the form of a probiotic yogurt drink which is packed with the good bacteria that can help to reduce a leaky gut.

Foods which are high in fibre can be very good for your health, so try to include items such as legumes, whole grains, vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, sauerkraut - even better as its vegan!), chickpeas, nuts (almonds - as a snack or added into a smoothie recipe!), spices and fruits in your diet wherever possible to support digestive system.

The avocado has had a massive boost in popularity in recent years, and one of the reasons for this is the contribution that it can make to your gut health. It has been branded as a superfood thanks to the amount of fibre and essential nutrients that are packed into each fantastic fruit. Not only does this help to promote a healthy digestive function, but they are also low in fructose, which means they are less likely to cause issues with gas.

There have also been a number of studies which suggest that garlic is another great ingredient for supporting good gut health. This is because it can help increase the gut microbiome diversity and levels of beneficial bacteria.

We all need protein in our diets, but it is important to make sure that we are eating the right type. To promote a healthy gut, it is important to stick with lean proteins such as white meat and fish. By contrast, red meat not only has a high fat content which can cause the colon to contract, but it can also promote colon bacteria which are known to produce chemicals responsible for the blocking of arteries.

When it comes to good gut health, sometimes it is just as important to know what not to eat, as well as what is good for you, and sadly, some of our favourites are not always the best choice for our gut! Fatty foods are known to be very hard to digest, and can lead to symptoms such as stomach pain and heartburn, so cutting back on the burgers and chips can be a healthier choice. Spicy food is another thing that is best avoided if you have digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease.

Gut-friendly recipes

Finding ways to make these gut friendly foods enticing for all the family is important when it comes to maintaining a good gut health, so we have gathered together some of our favourite gut-friendly recipes (serving two people) which will tantalise the tastebuds whilst also giving your digestion a much need leg up:

Kimchi fried rice

Food which is good for you does not need to be difficult to make, and this kimchi fried rice is the perfect way to get three of your 5-a-day in just a few short minutes.

Start by heating a tablespoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil into a pan and adding a whole clove of sliced garlic, a grated piece of ginger, 200g of chopped long stem broccoli and two thinly sliced spring onions. Fry these off gently for 5-7 minutes before adding 50g of kimchi for another couple of minutes. Add in a 200g pouch of pre-cooked wholegrain rice and stir though the ribbons of two carrots and let it all cook through for a minute.

Once everything has been heated, push all of the ingredients to the side of the pan, pour half a tablespoon of the cold-pressed rapeseed oil in the empty side of the pan and then crack in two eggs. Fry these and add a little seasoning before squeezing in the juice of half a lime over both sides of the pan. You can then transfer the rice to your bowl and top with the egg, a handful of coriander leaves and two more thinly sliced spring onions. To serve, you may want to put a wedge of lime on the side or a drizzle of hot sauce.

A plate of Kimchi fried rice, a popular Korean dish made with fermented cabbage, rice, and various vegetables.
A plate of Kimchi fried rice, a popular Korean dish made with fermented cabbage, rice, and various vegetables.

Cucumber kefir and falafel salad

Kefir is a food which has a lot of benefits for your gut, but it can be difficult to know what to do with it, outside of adding it to your porridge or smoothie, which is why this recipe is such a winner.

To get started, cook between 10 and 12 falafels according to the packet instructions. While you wait for them to bake, start whisking together 150ml of kefir, the juice of two limes, half a close of crushed garlic, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a quarter of a teaspoon of caster sugar, a tablespoon of chopped dill and half a bunch of chopped mint leaves, making sure to add some seasoning along the way.

Take one medium cucumber, at cut it in half lengthways, scraping out the seeds from the centre with a teaspoon. Then slice both halves of the cucumber and tip them into the dressing that you have just made along with two thinly sliced shallots and toss them all together.

Once the falafels are cooked, you should serve the salad and scatter over a little more mint and dill. Then, stone and dice half an avocado, scattering this across with some black pepper and the falafels. This salad is delicious on its own or served with a warm pitta bread.

Homemade yogurt being made in a glass jar, surrounded by ingredients for cucumber kefir and falafel salad.
Homemade yogurt being made in a glass jar.

Barley, ginger and miso soup

This soup delivers the ultimate hit of taste combined with gut calming effects. It takes a little time to cook, but there is minimal preparation needed and the flavours make it well worth the wait.

Simply heat two teaspoons of macadamia oil in a pan and gently cook one finely chopped onion, three diced celery sticks and two peeled and diced carrots. Make sure you keep stirring over the next six or seven minutes while they soften and then add a tablespoon of grated ginger and three cloves of sliced garlic.

After another minute of stirring, add 110g of rinsed and drained pearl barely and mix it all together. Then add a tablespoon and a half of miso paste and 1.25l of water before bringing the whole thing to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to simmer for 45 minutes before adding 400g of frozen podded edamame beans along with a trimmed and chopped bunch of tender stem broccoli. Simmer for around five minutes and then stir through one teaspoon of tamari. The soup is then ready to serve - perfect with some chopped chives sprinkled across the top.

These recipes are a fantastic way to boost your gut health and can work brilliantly alongside probiotics which have been developed to give your body a healthy dose of everything it needs to keep your digestive enzymes functioning normally.

Freshly chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
Freshly chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
Check out other Gut Friendly Recipes, created by dietitians to support your digestive system.
Writer and expert
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