Tag Archives: ginger

Gut-Healing Sweet and Spiced Soup

WF GF DF SF

Serves: 2

Gut-healing wintertime essentials when you maybe ate one too many holiday cookies and drank too much eggnog?

One of my favorites is soup.

Really, to get your gut back on track any time, I love nutrient-rich soup.

And this easy-to-make, delicious recipe hits the spot with essential nutrients and fantastic flavor.

Nourishing bone broth forms this soup’s base to heal the gut lining, while sweet potatoes offer fiber to feed your healthy gut bacteria. Ginger and turmeric support your immune system and dial back inflammation. 

This savory, satisfying soup makes a perfect starter or whenever you need warm, satisfying nourishment.

 

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup bone broth (homemade or Kettle and Fire)

½ cup full fat coconut milk

⅓ cup macadamia nuts

2 tsp fresh ground ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tbs pumpkin seeds

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

⅓ cup Daiya dairy-free cheese, crumbled (optional)

Sea salt and pepper

 

Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake sweet potato for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked.

Step 2

When sweet potato is done, allow to cool and peel the skin.

Step 3

In a blender, mix the sweet potato with coconut milk, bone broth, macadamia nuts, ginger, and turmeric.

Step 4

Reheat on stove top and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 5

Pour into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds, cilantro and crumbled Daiya cheese.

Photo by Cayla1 on Unsplash

Planting a Happy-Gut Approved Summer Garden

Planting vegetable garden

Summertime is creeping up! Kids are antsy to be out of school, the sun shines brighter, and you’re probably trying to become healthier as you shed your bulky winter wardrobe and enter swimsuit season.

Among my favorite warmer-weather ventures include visiting a local farmers market or roadside produce stand for seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich plant foods.

Eating locally grown, seasonal foods creates more mindfulness about your day-to-day food choices while supporting the local economy and fostering community.

Buying from your local farmers and speaking with growers also creates lasting friendships that build trust around the food you eat and feed your family.

This year, my goals include taking that philosophy one step further by creating a garden. Planting a summer garden makes a great hobby, provides physical activity, and dramatically improves your gut health.

Garden-garden food has a completely different nutrient profile than mass-produced fruit and veggies that positively impacts your microbiome.

Unfortunately, things like urbanization, spending less time in nature, and increased sanitization have negatively impacted the gut. Daily life stresses out and subsequently alters your microbiome.

Farming methods have also changed as poor land management, mass production, antibiotics, and pesticides lower the quality of the soil. (1) Poor-quality soil depletes essential nutrients in vegetables and fruits.

Farmers often use glyphosate for conventionally grown food. This pesticide contains high antimicrobial properties, killing off unwanted weeds while allowing a plant to grow.

That’s good for manufacturers but bad for you. Glyphosate’s high toxicity and antimicrobial properties negatively affect overall human health. Glyphosate can reduce absorption of micronutrients, impair metabolic pathways,  negatively impact digestion, and alter microbiome balance.

Studies show this pesticide can also contribute to obesity, autism, memory impairment, infertility, depression, and even cancer. (2)

Simply put, food grown with pesticides often comes loaded with toxins but fewer nutrients. That’s why I want you to consider a summer garden, free of pesticides and other toxic substances!

Organic soil is loaded with beneficial gut bacteria. In fact, one teaspoon of organic soil contains millions of microbes. These soil microbes provide essential nutrients for the plants, which they can uptake through their roots. (3)  

This process yields nutrient-dense foods with higher antioxidant levels, vitamins, and minerals. Seasonal foods also contribute to a healthy microbial diversity.

You needn’t make gardening a full-time hobby (who has time, anyway?) to get these benefits. My strategies for planting a summer garden to eat seasonal, organic, and homegrown include:

Start Organic

When you embark on creating your garden, make sure you purchase organic seeds and soil. You can even purchase worm castings, which contain essential minerals and stimulate plant growth.

Keep it Simple

Your garden doesn’t have to be elaborate. Start with a few potted herbs or plants. Fresh herbs offer numerous health benefits while seasoning main dishes and salads.  

Make this a Stress-Lowering Activity

Gardening can relieve stress. Working with the plants and having physical contact with the earth can reduce inflammation in the body and promote relaxation. That feeling of pure bliss can promote a Happy Gut!

Eat the Dirt

Instead of soaking and scrubbing garden-picked food, gently wash it. A little leftover dirt and microbes will do your gut good!

Have Fun

Have fun with your garden or potted plants! Join a club or have the family get involved. Community and laughter are all important parts of healing the body and gut.

Make Smart Buying Choices

If you can’t have your own garden, these alternatives can also provide you fresh, organic, seasonal, locally grown food.

Local Co-Op: Co-Ops offer local and seasonal foods in your community.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Purchasing a CSA share allows you the option to enjoy high-quality food that is grown close to home.

Farmers Market: More cities have these nowadays. I love hitting up my Farmers Market in Manhattan on a Saturday morning!

A garden provides a perfect way to get closer to the ground (literally and figuratively). Research shows people who live near farms and nature are healthier than individuals who live in urban areas. (1)

No matter where you live, you can incorporate nutrient-rich seasonal food. If these options are a big stretch for you and your household, refer to the Environmental Working Group to learn about the worst- and least-pesticide loaded produce. Their guide can help you make the most informed decisions about what foods you should buy organic.

To jumpstart your journey to a better gut and overall health right now, check out my Quick Start to a Happy Gut.

Citations

  1. Tasnim, N., Abulizi, N., Pither, J., Hart, M. M., & Gibson, D. L. (2017). Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live? Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 1935.
  2. .Samsel, A., & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 6(4), 159–184.
  1. V. (2015, December 15). Organic Farming Improves Soil Health. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from http://www.ofrf.org/news/organic-farming-improves-soil-health-1

 

 

Dr. Pedre’s Blue Ginger Smoothie

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Blueberry smoothie with mint in mason jar mug, downward view on white marble

Created in collaboration with Natural Foods Chef Mikaela Reuben, this smoothie is jam-packed with trace minerals, antioxidants, gut-healing ginger, healthy fats and chlorophyll to cleanse the body. It is also great for your hair and skin!

Blue Ginger Smoothie

WF  DF  GF  SF  VEG  VG

Makes 1 – 2 servings

Ingredients

1 cup frozen blueberries

¼ cup whole Brazil nuts

1 ½ cups filtered water

2 teaspoons chlorella (available in powder form at health-food stores)

1 large handful of organic spinach

One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 – 2 scoops hypoallergenic protein powder (in this case, I use my Happy Gut Cleanse Shake)

¼ cup almond milk (optional)

Step 1

Add the ingredients to a high-speed blender in the order listed.

Step 2

Blend until smooth.

Step 3

Serve chilled and enjoy.

Tip: If you are not a fan of the strong bite of ginger, start with 1 teaspoon and add more as you desire. I love ginger and can never get enough.