The Good Gut Salad
Several studies have shown a diet rich in fibre and plant diversity is the way to go to cultivate a healthy, thriving microbiome. But if you’re among the almost 40% of people who suffer from IBS or another functional gut disorder, like bloating, cramping, or constipation, increasing fibre can be less than comfortable. In fact, studies have also shown that when we lack a robust population of beneficial bacteria, participants reveal an exacerbation of gut symptoms as fibre consumption increases. So how can we keep our plant count high, and digestive symptoms low? Enter the Good Gut Salad.
Your base options are going to be low FODMAP, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, di saccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. In laymen's terms, they're foods that contain short-chain carbohydrates and simple sugar alcohols which, when bacterial imbalance is present, can cause symptoms commonly associated with IBS. From there, we’re going to layer in a variety of toppings – chopped salad style – that are still low in FODMAP, but add a great burst of flavour, texture and of course, phytonutrients. Protein is a must for a filling winter salad, and we love adding a warm veg to top it off, whether you make it fresh or use leftovers is up to you. It’s as simple as that. We top ours with – you guessed it – a creamy tahini sauce with added ginger (our favourite anti-bloat functional food), but you can go for whatever you’d like. By the end of it, you’ll have built a salad that is not only gut-friendly and rich in phytonutrients, but also incredibly addictive and satisfying.
If you need a little extra gut support, here are our go-tos:
- Enhanced Synbiotic: Digestive enzymes, probiotics and polyphenols to improve digestion and support microbial health.
- Deep Detox: Anti-inflammatory, liver-focused herbs to improve bowel regularity and encourage detoxification.
- Digest + Debloat: Digestive bitters and carminative herbs to combat wind, indigestion and digestive discomfort.
THE GOOD GUT SALAD
BASE OPTIONS: choose 2.
- Rocket, watercress, endive, baby spinach, cos lettuce, romaine, gem lettuce
RAW TOPPINGS: choose up to 4.
- Grated carrot, chopped celery, cherry tomato, cucumber, chopped fennel, olives, radish, spring onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, grated white cabbage
RAW TOPPINGS, SWEET: choose 1.
- 5 grapes, chopped, a few slices grapefruit or orange, blueberries, desiccated coconut (2 tsp)
COOKED TOPPINGS: choose 1 starchy veg and 2 non-starchy veg.
- Courgette, sweet potato/purple sweet potato (½ cup), left over potatoes (½ cup), broccoli, green beans
PROTEIN: 1 palm seized serving.
- Chicken, turkey, salmon, prawns, eggs, extra firm tofu (organic)
HERBS, TOPPERS + DRESSINGS:
- Parsley, coriander, mint, mixed seeds (1 tbsp), chopped walnuts (2 tbsp), 2 tbsp hummus, up to 15 pieces cooked chickpeas, ginger, tahini, EVOO, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon/lime, mustard, miso
If you’re looking for a gentle reset that doesn’t run into full-blown cleanse territory, try our 7-Day Reset for a week of good food, good movement and gentle cleansing.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All information given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.