Do you wonder what superfoods to eat with all this talk about gut health, probiotics and prebiotics, autoimmunity, hormonal balance, weight loss/weight gain, inflammation?
I’m sure you do, I know because I have been in those shoes before. I had just recently figured out that eczema was an autoimmune disease (yes I self-diagnosed), No one told me, instead they kept pumping me with gut-damaging antibiotics ( I guess they meant well, sigh).and I was determined to find out what foods I could eat to maintain good health and promote healing too. So I did some digging while believing that there are foods out there other than what I’ve been taught were the only types of food. Think about it, there are over 1097 vegetable species in the world, 2000 types of fruits, 21 grain types and loads of poultry & dairy alternatives, nuts and seeds. Surely there’s something for everyone, even YOU. And you can’t exhaust your options.
I know how difficult it may seem at the moment because you’re distracted by all the foods you can’t eat. But I will be the sunshine in your life and tell you this: There are so many tasty, beautiful (yes, very colourful) foods you can eat and enjoy and while you’re at it, these foods heal you and make you more energetic.
I am starting a series where I will introduce superfoods (spices, herbs, even supplements) and one amazing recipe that incorporates this. This is definitely going to make life easier and you are going to find new favourites very soon. Without further ado, let’s begin:
Arabinogalactans (Like what is that? right lol)
These are a type of natural prebiotics, they are plant-based fiber that improve your microbial diversity by feeding the all-important Lactobacillus, the type of bacteria used to ferment yogurt and kefir. This natural prebiotic also supports the growth of Bifidobacterium, another key type of friendly bacteria.
Let me put it into perspective. They have strong antibacterial properties, especially against E. coli (think infection in children) and a type of unfriendly bacteria known as klebsiella. Overweight people with unhealthy microbiomes often have an overgrowth of klebsiella, which is also associated with autoimmune diseases. Hence, arabinogalactans are terrific for microbial balance, weight loss, and overall immune protection. In addition, arabinogalactans support natural “killer cell” activity so your immune system can battle with any threats to your body.
Even more important, arabinogalactans are natural immune modulators, keeping your immune system in balance. You want an active immune system that attacks any real threat to your system but calms down and relaxes in the face of false threats, such as food products to which you might have become sensitive. An overactive immune system also creates autoimmune conditions, in which your immune system literally begins to attack your own body, including such disorders as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, eczema, and multiple sclerosis
Arabinogalactans modulate your immune system and have natural anticancer properties. This type of fiber ferments in your intestinal tract, where it helps fight inflammation and combat allergies. It increases your production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which help support your gut wall as well as protecting your colon from cancer.
Found in the following Superfoods and Superspice:
• Turmeric (super-duper spice)
• and the bark of the larch tree are also rich in arabinogalactans.
Super-Simple Superfood Recipe of the Day! (shall I call it the Triple-S Recipe of the day? Yes or yes?)
CHICKEN SALAD WITH FENNEL, TOMATO, OLIVES, JICAMA, AND GREENS
A great way to use up leftover chicken (turmeric chicken is great). This chicken salad features the Superfoods radishes and tomatoes. Jicama, too will nourish your microbiome. Enjoy the amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from the fennel and the healthy serving of fiber in the fennel and mixed greens.
What you need:
1 heaping cup mixed greens
2 radishes in ¼-inch slices
4 ¼-inch slices fennel
2 tablespoons Lemon Vinaigrette, divided
1 cooked chicken breast or meat from 1 leg, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ¼-inch slice jicama, diced
¼ avocado, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon walnuts or almonds (optional)
What you need to do:
1. Mix the greens, radishes, and fennel with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
2. Place the mixture on a dinner plate, and top with the chicken and remaining ingredients.
3. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.
Vinaigrette recipe you ask?
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Combine the lemon juice and zest in a small, nonreactive bowl (glass, stainless steel, or plastic-last resort). Season with salt. Add Dijon mustard and whisk. Slowly add the olive oil. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper or lemon juice as needed
Bonus Triple-S Recipe
Tea time is therapeutic
1 cup (9 fl oz/250 ml) almond milk (tiger nut milk is great)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon grated ginger
6 drops liquid stevia
Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan until it reaches room temperature. Put the turmeric and ginger in a mug. Pour a small amount of the warm milk over the spices in the mug and stir to create a liquid paste, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the remaining milk, stirring well, and sweeten with the stevia.