04 Feb Have yourself a gut-friendly FEBRUARY
The human body is incredibly resilient and yet in the very same moment, hugely fragile. Taking great care to ensure it is supported and strengthened by what we put in it can help to avoid opportunistic pathogens infecting our bodies and so illness developing.
Our environments become increasingly removed from the natural and nurturing states they once were and huge stresses build upon us – work, life, finances, family…
This combination of increased psychological and physical stress requires us to take action with how we manage our health and mental resilience.
Each body is different and so each of us has varying nutritional and mindfulness requirements. However, having said this, there are things that we can all do to support our bodies, particularly in the colder, darker winter months when lurking lurgies seem rife!
Research points towards the positive effects of various probiotics which help to reduce effects of stress, depression and increased intestinal problems like leaky gut.
One thing we can all do to help reduce the effects of stress on our bodies is to ensure we add a good quality probiotic to our diet.
Taking probiotics may help boost the numbers of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Basically, probiotics are microorganisms that provide beneficial effects when you consume them in the right amounts.
Probiotics can be consumed in supplement form or in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt.
They should not be confused with prebiotics, which are types of fibre that serve as a food source for the bacteria living in your colon
Natural sources of prebiotic fibre include raw chicory roots, raw Jerusalem artichoke (wonderful shaved on top of a salad), dandelion greens, garlic, leeks and onions both raw and cooked, asparagus, and bananas.
All of the above is great for a preventative approach, but what about when your bunged up and feeling green?
Well, I have found a handy and very swift recipe for a natural immune-boosting recipe.
A Natural Immune-booster
1 inch of ginger, roughly chopped
1 inch of turmeric, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
Juice of one lemon
½ cup water
Organic honey to taste
Simply whizz up the ingredients in a blender and take a teaspoon every hour until the mixture is finished.
Rosemary has historically been used as a medicinal herb. Garlic, ginger and turmeric also have been used in a similar way. This tonic uses all of them and seasoned with honey and lemon makes for a bearable taste.
Don’t take this as a daily tonic as the ingredients can be strong enough to compromise the good bacteria in your body too, so limit taking it when you’re not feeling great.
Here is a Gut-friendly dinner: miso salmon
This tasty quick salmon dish, flavoured with miso, rice vinegar and ginger is so delicious. Miso is a Japanese seasoning made by fermenting beans with koji, a fungal culture. It’s rich in healthy probiotics and packed with minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus, as well as stress-busting B vitamins.
- brown basmati rice 100g
- skinless salmon fillets 2
- pak choi 2, quartered lengthways
- sugar snap peas a handful
- baby corn a handful
- spring onions 2, thinly sliced
- white miso 1 tbsp
- rice vinegar 1 tbsp
- ginger a thumb-sized piece, finely grated
- garlic 1 clove, finely grated
Cook the rice in lightly salted boiling water following pack instructions, then drain well.
For the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients with 100ml of water.
Heat the grill to high and heat a non-stick oven-proof frying pan over a medium-high heat, lightly oil and season the salmon fillets then cook on one side for 2 minutes until crisp. Turn, remove from the heat and pour over the miso sauce. Put under the grill for 2-3 minutes or until the salmon is crisp and the sauce reduced and bubbling.
Meanwhile, cook the pak choi, sugar snaps and baby corn in a large pan of boiling water until just tender, then drain well.
Divide the rice and veg between two plates then add the salmon, spooning over any sauce. Sprinkle with spring onions to serve.
Have a healthy February