Chili is easy to make, loaded with healthy ingredients, and the very definition of a comfort food. There’s really only one downside: a hefty bowl of greasy ground beef, topped with cheese and sour cream, can leave you feeling bloated, gassy, and lethargic. That’s exactly why one gut health expert created a healthy chili recipe that will gives your digestion a boost.
According to Amanda Sauceda, RDN, a California-based registered dietitian who focuses on gut health, the key to creating a gut-friendly chili is loading up on protein and fiber.
“A hangry gut is not a happy gut, and protein keeps our gut happy. It’s the main macronutrient that makes us feel full and satisfied, and you get a double dose in this chili with shredded chicken and kidney beans,” she says. “The kidney beans and other veggies count as fiber foods. Think of fiber like lifting weights for your gut. It helps keep your gut in shape and keeps things moving along, which is especially important if you struggle with constipation.”
Another perk of Sauceda’s chili, which is from the Living Plate meal plans she uses with clients, is that it also contains onions and garlic, which are great for the gut due to being prebiotics. “Prebiotics are a specific type of fiber that’s actually food for our good gut bacteria,” she says. “But keep in mind that if someone is following a low-FODMAP diet, which is sometimes used for people with gut problems, this recipe would not be appropriate during the elimination phase, as some of the ingredients are high in FODMAPS.”
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In the one-pot chili, Sauceda combined all of the above for the recipe, including kidney beans, bell pepper, onion, chicken, tomato, and garlic. If you want to keep it plant-based, simply forgo the chicken and stick to the beans. It doesn’t take long to put it together either, giving you a simple dinner option you can make in bulk and enjoy all week long. “You’ll only have one dirty dish and a dinner on the table in 30 minutes,” she says. A chili that’s easy to make and keeps the bloat away? That’s the dream.
Gut-friendly healthy chili recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 bell peppers, chopped mixed colors, seeded
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 28 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed
2 15 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
fresh cilantro, chopped garnish
1. Do your prep work. Chop onion, mince garlic, drain and rinse kidney beans, and shred chicken.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
3. Add peppers, salt, chili powder, cumin, and paprika.
4. Increase to high heat and stir in crushed tomatoes, beans, shredded chicken, and broth.
5. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover.
6. Cook for 10 minutes.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Sip on this immunity broth the next time you’re feeling under the weather:
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