SalmonBerry

Posts Tagged ‘miso’

Fiber, Fermented Foods, & Your Gut

In Nutrition on July 11, 2013 at 1:30 am
kale, onions, strawberries, peaches

Kale with onions & garlic. Strawberries and peaches.

OK, so this topic is not super sexy but a healthy gut – gastrointestinal (GI) tract – is essential for our overall health and wellness. First a little primer on your large intestine – exciting! – and then we will discuss what to eat and why.

photo (11)

Mangoes – a high fiber fruit.

We all know the large intestine is in charge of eliminating “that which is of no use to our bodies” aka waste or non-digestible food products. During this process of elimination, the large intestine reabsorbs water and sodium back into our bloodstream, a very important function, and, also very important, the large intestine is the site for synthesis of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), B-vitamins and vitamin K. The aforementioned nutrients primarily feed the cells of the GI tract. You want to keep those GI cells happy because it turns out the cells lining our GI tract serve as the largest immune tissue in our bodies! Even more amazing is recent understanding that the cells of our GI tract secrete enough regulatory hormones to be considered the largest endocrine organ in our body!

cauliflower

Huge head of homegrown cauliflower.

How do we love our GI cells so they function properly?

Eat plenty of fiber and fermented foods (also, avoid sugar but that’s another discussion).

Fiber is considered a prebiotic while fermented foods are considered a probiotic. Both are essential to gut health.

Found in WHOLE plant foods (fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, and seeds), fiber is used by the large intestine to feed the “gut flora”. Our gut flora is composed of healthy bacteria who use fiber as a medium to synthesize those nutrients (SCFAs, vitamin K, and B-vitamins) that are so essential for properly functioning GI cells.

kombucha bottles

Cactus fruit kombucha from Robin’s Nest.

Fermented foods, such as miso, tempeh, cultured dairy (kefir, yogurt), kombucha tea, kimchi, sauerkraut, chutneys and any fruit/vegetable fermented using lactic acid, support a healthy gut flora by providing a source of healthy bacteria – Lactobacillus acidophilus – for that fiber that the GI cells needs to synthesize SCFAs, B-vitamins, and vitamin K…you see the relationship?

So, please, please, please…eat MORE fiber and fermented foods and LESS sugar and refined foods. Your gut will love you for it and your ability to fight the common cold and chronic disease depends on it.

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Cleansing Soup

In Nutrition, Recipe on April 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm
cleansing soup

Cleansing Soup – all day for three days.

This soup is perfect for cleansing your system after an over-indulgence or when you are feeling run-down and susceptible to illness. If you are feeling sluggish and foggy, take three days to eat nothing but this soup and you will come right back to life! For maximum benefit, it’s important to abstain from caffeine and alcohol. Instead treat yourself to fresh-pressed veggie & fruit juices. This soup is high in fiber, vitamins A, C & K, antioxidants, and antimicrobials and is wonderful for supporting your immune system and maintaing a healthy gut.

Ingredients:

cleansing soup ingredients

Carrots, celery, garlic, onion, kale, shiitake mushrooms.

1 bulb (yes, the WHOLE bulb) garlic

1 medium onion

fresh ginger – about the size of 2 thumbs, peeled

1 lb. shiitake mushrooms – thinly sliced (remove stems)

1 bunch red swiss chard, dinosaur kale, or fave greens – stemmed and chopped

1 bunch carrots – thinly sliced rounds

1 bunch celery – thinly sliced half-moons (use the leafy parts too!)

64oz low sodium vegetable broth

64oz water

1/4 to 1/2 a tub of miso paste

Sesame oil

Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Directions:

kale shiitake mushrooms

Kale and shiitake mushrooms sautéed in sesame oil.

Process garlic, ginger, and onions. It’s OK if the onions become mush. It’s adds a thicker texture to the broth. Heat sesame oil in caste iron pan. Add garlic, onions, and ginger. After a couple of minutes, add sliced shiitake mushrooms and splash of tamari and sauté until mushrooms are glassy.

In a stock pot, simmer carrots and celery in veggie broth and water. When carrots and celery are super soft, turn off heat and stir in enough miso paste for your liking (don’t bring back to a boil or you’ll kill off good bacteria in the miso). When you’ve adjusted the broth so it tastes right to you, add chopped greens and stir until wilted and bright green. Add contents of caste iron pan. Done!

Serve soup sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and cayenne. Also delicious poured over short-grain brown rice or with tofu and soba noodles.