I think we’ve all heard of the idea of using food as medicine, but let’s be honest, doesn’t that sound like you’ll be eating concoctions that have the texture of hay? If you have Celiac disease, food allergies, diabetes, are trying to lose weight, or just want to eat healthier, aren’t you sick of eating foods that are “good” for you but taste like hockey pucks? Part of eating healthy isn’t just what you are eating, but how you feel when you eat it. As someone with multiple food allergies, I completely understand that even though I should feel like a saint while I’m eating my gluten free, dairy free, flavor free, packed with nutrition but totally tasteless chicken salad at lunch, in reality I’m totally jealous of my friend who gets to have her piece of chocolate cake for dessert (and eat it too!) She may be eating something “bad” for her, but I bet she feels pretty darn good while she enjoys it. This is a key piece that’s missing in a “limited” diet … the feel-good factor. Well, guess what? You can eat foods that will help heal and soothe your digestive tract, and it can be the most fantastic food that has ever passed your lips (obviously, Zing Bars are a fine example of this!) My mission in life is to make people who can eat whatever they want, with no restrictions, be utterly jealous of my meals, instead of the other way around. Try introducing the following three foods that can help soothe your gut, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the flavor party that will be happening in your mouth:
- Fresh ginger: Used for centuries as a digestive tonic, ginger is essential for reducing nausea, and soothing an upset stomach, or an irritated digestive tract. Ginger can be steeped in hot water for a soothing tea, or added to meals for a somewhat spicy zing. You’ll find it fresh in the produce section of your local grocery store.
- Turmeric: This is a time-tested remedy that is ideal for anyone with gut issues, as it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This spice is most often found in curry powders, and has a warm, gentle flavor. I always add extra turmeric to any recipes that call for curry powder, since it doesn’t overwhelm any other flavors, but adds a significant soothing effect.
- Coconut milk and coconut oil: These are really two separate powerhouse foods from the same nut. Coconut oil makes a fabulous butter replacement for anyone who can’t tolerate dairy products, and is the one oil that I recommend for moderately high heat cooking, since it doesn’t break down at these temperatures (think damage to your body!) like other oils can. Coconut milk is super easy to digest, especially for people with a compromised digestive system, who need all the nutrition that they can get.