When it comes to thinking about gut-healthy meals, it's easy to resort to the obvious, like probiotic yogurt or kefir, and fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Those options are all great, but they don't make for the most appealing meals to eat day after day to ensure a healthy and happy gut. On the latest episode of Plant-Based, herbalist Rachelle Robinett is here with a recipe that turns some of your favorite gut-healthy herbs into a delicious summer soup.
When talking about gut-health, we are referring to the gut, stomach, and microbiome. "The reason that it's becoming more popular is because, as we learn more and more about the whole system, we are realizing how central that organ is to our entire well-being and how it effects our immune system, our nervous system, and our brain through the gut/brain axis, both physically and chemically," says Robinett. What makes this specific soup recipe so "soothing" is the fact that, by using herbs that are specifically catered towards calming and enriching your microbiome and the good bacteria in it, you are also impacting your mood since "the majority of serotonin is actually produced in the gut, not in the brain."
Robinett stresses the importance of getting a large variety and a large quantity of good bacteria into your system by eating more probiotic-rich foods. Along with probiotics, it's also vital to include prebiotics in your diet, she says. Prebiotics are not bacteria, but rather the fiber and starch that feed your good gut bacteria and keep them alive. They show up in roots, herbs, seeds, vegetables, supplement powders, and other fibrous sources. On top of what you physically put into your body, another key for maintaining good, long-term gut-health is to "rest to digest" to allow our bodies to expend energy on digestion rather than being on the go or in "fight or flight mode." Finally, Robinett says that in order to really give your gut what it needs for optimal functioning, it's important to lean into a "high produce, low processed diet."
This gut-healthy, soothing, summer soup is a great way to incorporate some, easy-on-digestion, whole produce into your meal. Press play on the video above to learn how to make it.
Gut-healthy summer soup
12 mini cucumbers
1 cup fresh mint or basil leaves
6 oz plain, plant-based yogurt
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of sea salt
1 to 3 Tbsp of olive oil
1/2 cup of water
Hot sauce to taste
1. Break mini cucumbers in half and add all ingredients to a blender.
2. Blend until desired consistency, and serve topped with mint or basil.
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