Narrowing down the perfect grocery list can prove to be quite challenging – especially when one is trying to prioritize a variety of different essential micro and macronutrients. The beauty of cooking is that you really have the chance to get creative with the different ingredients you use. When it comes to digestive health, there are certain ingredients that can be quite beneficial for your gut health. Today, we are going to break down different ingredients you might be overlooking in the grocery store but that can transform your health for the better!
Breakfast Ingredients We Want To Highlight
- Mushrooms - The polysaccharides found in mushrooms are considered a carbohydrate that help with the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Mushrooms are known to have prebiotics that are essential in properly using probiotics in the body. Due to their texture and taste, mushrooms can be an amazing substitution for meat for those who are vegetarian. While mushrooms tend to be used in dinner meals, they can be the star of the show in a breakfast meal such as omelets, grain bowls, and light soups.
- Agave - Inulin can be found in agave and is rich in fiber. Fiber is wonderful for our digestive health, especially if you are someone who struggles with constipation. Agave also offers other essential nutrients such as calcium and iron. Agave is a great way to sweeten up your breakfast dishes without any artificial sweeteners. Some of our favorite dishes to add agave to include acai bowls, oatmeal, and yogurt bowls!
- Fig jam - Figs are known for their ability to nourish the intestines, but did you know that this helps it act as a laxative within the body? If you struggle with constipation, aside from taking a digestive enzyme supplement, you can incorporate figs into your diet. Figs can be consumed in its true form or even in jam form. Jam can be a great addition to your morning toast or even as a snack early in the morning.
- Oatmeal - Oatmeal contains prebiotics and the beta-glucan – soluble fiber – helps to feed the prebiotics and thus fuel the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements and can make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Due to this effect, oatmeal is a wonderful food option in the morning, because it will give you the sustenance you need to take on the day!
Pantry Staples to Keep Stocked for Lunch Time
- Tempeh - Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. When the soybeans undergo the fermentation process, the development of probiotics occurs making tempeh a wonderful probiotic source. Probiotics are needed to help maintain the level of beneficial bacteria in the gut and also helps to eliminate any harmful bacteria that may be causing leaky gut syndrome. Tempeh is a great option for lunchtime – especially for those who are vegetarian.
- White Beans - White beans contain a variety of different essential nutrients and minerals that our bodies need to thrive. Due to its fiber content, white beans can help to build a hearty meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and full. White beans are considered a superfood. White beans can be a great addition to any grain bowl, hearty fall soup, and/or tacos!
- Watercress - The presence of chlorophyll in watercress is what gives it its digestive enzyme abilities. Chlorophyll contains high levels of digestive enzymes which are essential in helping our body break down different types of nutrients. If you are struggling with properly digesting food, you might want to consider adding watercress to your meals. It can be a great way to brighten up any salad or meal.
- Peas - Peas are rich in the fiber we have been talking so much about. Peas are small green veggies that are delicious and can brighten up any meal. You can mash up peas and add it to your hummus dip to make it even more amazing and nutritious.
Delicious Additions to Add to Your Dinner Meals
- Sun-dried tomatoes - Sun-dried tomatoes are not usually a common ingredient people use in the kitchen, but their gut supporting abilities along with their high vitamin and mineral count make it a wonderful option to add to your grocery list. They contain fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. To name a few meals, you can use sun-dried tomatoes in pasta sauce and soups
- Scallops - When it comes to getting their protein-intake, people tend to turn to chicken breast or meat, but did you know that scallops are actually beneficial to your gut health? Scallops contain peptides that are known to regulate the gut and reduce any inflammation that may be causing issues. Their high-protein and low-fat content make scallops a light yet nutritious option for dinner.
- Coconut milk - Coconut milk contains electrolytes and healthy fats, making it a wonderful alternative to regular milk or other milks. Keep in mind if you are opting for coconut milk over regular milk, it does not contain as much protein or calcium. However, due to its hydrating properties it makes it a wonderful substitution or addition to meals such as curry or pastas. If you want to reduce the taste of coconut milk in your meals, make sure to dilute it with water.
- Lentils - Lentils contain fiber and can help promote the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Aside from a probiotic supplement, food is another great way to reap the benefits of probiotics. Lentils also contain zinc which is beneficial for one’s immunity levels. This can be especially helpful in the fall and winter months when we are more prone to developing common illnesses due to the change in temperature outside.