Gut Loving Buddha Bowl
The digestive tract is home to more than 500 species of bacteria, comprising about 100 trillion bugs altogether. Collectively, they are tremendously important for overall health. We give these bugs a home; in exchange, they do a variety of things for us. For instance, they help digest food, synthesize certain vitamins, and play an important role in immune defence.
There are ‘good’ bacteria in the form of probiotics, which we can constantly replenish. These probiotics also need nourishing food to help them grow. Prebiotics are the fibre-rich foods that probiotics feed and grow on. As an added bonus, a compound called butyric acid is produced when the probiotics break down prebiotic foods in the colon. Butyric acid is the preferred form of fuel for the cells that line the colon, and it serves to acidify the environment as well, making it harder for harmful bacteria to survive.
The key to great gut health is a variety of plant-based foods. Specifically, it has been shown that individuals who consume at least 30 different plant-based foods each week have more varied gut bacteria, and ultimately a healthier gut microbiome as a result. I think we all get into a habit of picking up the same foods each week but it’s worth getting out of the veggie rut your stuck in – your gut will thank you for it! Choose seasonal and organic for the most nutrient rich.
Probiotic rich foods include sauerkraut, miso, fermented and pickled vegetables, tempeh, natto, kombucha and kefir.
Polyphenol rich foods are also important for raising bacterial in our gut. Akkarmansia is an important bacterium for protecting the mucin lining within the walls of the gut, with low levels associated with a higher obesity and diabetes risk. Polyphenol rich foods include apples, cranberries, flaxseeds, green tea.
Prebiotic rich foods are important for feeding the gut bacteria, including onions, leeks, garlic, konjak, radishes, legumes, bananas, whole grains, raw honey.
Buddha bowls are a great way to boost your gut health.
To make the marinaded cauliflower and tofu
½ block of organic, firm Tofu (around 250g), cut into chunks
½ small cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp olive oil
Coat the tofu and cauliflower in the turmeric and olive oil and bake in the oven until crisp (around 20-25 mins at 180 dc)
To make the edamame guacamole
¼ cup edamame beans
¼ avocado, flesh of
1 tsp lime juice
Pinch chili flakes
Using a pestle or mortal, mash the edamame beans with the avocado, lime juice and seasoning.
To make the miso mushroom noodles
100g buckwheat noodles
10 sliced button mushrooms
1 miso sachet (1 tbsp)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp tamari
Boil the noodles as instructed.
Mix the miso with 200ml water in a pan over a gentle heat. Add the mushrooms and allow to soften, 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, add the tamari and tahini to the pan. Mix in the noodles once ready.
To assemble the bowl per person
Share each of the recipes above between two bowls
1-2 tbsp sauerkraut
1-2 tbsp red pickled cabbage
1-2 sliced radish
Broccoli and kale, steamed to al dente (as much as you like!)
Top with cashews, sesame seeds, coriander, sea salt, black pepper, extra lime juice or tamari