Gut health is a pivotal part of our health, and today’s Probiotic-Rich Salad is a great one you can add to your routine to improve digestion starting now!
Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free
Today we’re chatting gut health simply for the fact that our guts are so incredibly powerful at dictating our overall health and because we don’t give them enough credit. The microbes that make up our body essentially make up our brain and body’s overall health. Did you know we are more bacteria cells than anything else?
When bad microbes start to take over the gut, you’ll feel upset, anxious, and suffer from digestive upset. This is also when depression can easily set in. In order for our gut health to be optimal, we have to listen to our gut instinct, add probiotics and naturally fermented foods into our diet, eat clean diets, and reduce the stress in our lives.
The first thing I suggest on a nutritional standpoint is to get rid of sugar, conventional animal products dairy, and refined grains (along with most forms of gluten) which are all full of environmental toxins that damage the gut and are highly inflammatory. After you cut out the “big three” focus on adding in tons of healthy foods and clean proteins so you can start improving the amount of good bacteria in your gut. Managing stress is also very important since our gut health and brain health are intricately connected.
Although you can take probiotics (which I do still recommend), raw living fermented foods are SO much more powerful and come with additional benefits for your health.
My choices are real sauerkraut (live, raw versions in the cold section) and kimchi (spicy Asian sauerkraut with added peppers and veggies). These are made from a base of cabbage and fermented naturally without added yeast like kefir or kombucha. Cabbage actually has prebiotic properties built within it that ferment naturally. This is why cabbage is used as the main ingredient in kraut and kimchi. Cabbage is also high in detoxification properties for the liver, spleen, digestive tract and pancreas. It also balances brain health since it is rich in B vitamins, enzymes, and vitamin C.
I’ve been eating 1/2 cup of fermented veggies each night in the form of this probiotic-rich salad I’m sharing with you. I can’t believe how much better I feel as a result! My digestion is better, I have less stress and inflammation, and an overall more balanced feeling.
I encourage you to give raw fermented foods a try; they’re very easy to digest and so amazing as a side to dinner or lunch just like this salad! Other good options include raw (not shelf-stable) pickles and high-quality (plain) yogurt.
- 2 cups shredded greens (I like romaine, spinach and baby kale or arugula)
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 1 cup sliced or shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup raw kraut or kimchi
- spices of choice
- shredded artichoke hearts
- sliced cucumbers
- one lemon
- Shred the greens and place in a small bowl.
- Cut the lemon in half, squeeze one half of the lemon juice onto the greens.
- Add the mustard, zucchini, spices, cucumber and celery. Toss to coat
- Add 2-3 artichoke hearts, shredded.
- Top with kimchi or kraut, and the juice from the other half of the lemon.
- Sprinkle black pepper and additional spices on top if you like.
- You can make this as mild or flavorful as you want by using kraut and less spices for a milder flavor, or using kimchi and more spices for a more savory, pungent flavor. Both are great!
- The ingredients I have used here provide detoxification and hydrating properties. They keep the digestive system moving, remove excess water weight and feed good bacteria without causing digestive upset like some fiber-rich or prebiotic recipes can. This recipe is great for those with a FODMAPS intolerance or those sensitive to starches and sugary foods.
(These are normally found in the produce section at health food stores such as Whole Foods)
Do you eat fermented veggies?