If you’re like me, you love learning about new ways to use food to support your body’s ability to heal. But it can quickly become overwhelming to know which foods you should be eating to better your digestive health. Prebiotics this, probiotics that, paleo-approved, Whole 30 compliant, and the list of criteria goes on and on and on.
Nourishing and rebuilding the gut starts with supporting and feeding the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. With a strong population of good flora, all digestion improves. That’s because our bacteria regulate everything from muscular contractions in the digestive process to chemical signaling to crowding out bad bacteria that enters via contaminated food and water. So, you can imagine that without the right levels of these good guys, digestion can become impaired.
Flora in our digestive tract can become imbalanced if it’s damaged by pharmaceutical medications like antibiotics and birth control, if pathogenic microbes like parasites get ahold of our system or if stress becomes so high that our immune system and body’s overall defenses lessen and we become more prone to the “bad guys” taking hold of the digestive tract. When this happens, often our system becomes inflamed as it tries to fend off infections, repair from what’s called leaky gut (or a breach in the digestive tract due to damage), and food sensitivities (which are often the result of leaky gut).
So, the two areas in which to focus on when rebuilding the gut are supporting the good bacteria and reducing inflammation.
That’s where the soup recipe that’s to follow comes in. It’s rich in prebiotics and anti-inflammatory properties, supporting the two fundamental parts of the gut healing journey.
Prebiotics: The Fertilizer for Beneficial Bacteria & Probiotics
By definition, prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber compound that pass through the upper part of the GI tract, remaining undigested because the body can’t fully break them down). Once they pass through the small intestine, they reach the colon where they can be fermented by the gut microflora, meaning they become food for your beneficial bacteria. With this food, they can thrive. Without it, they become starved and weak. Jerusalem artichokes are a major source of prebiotic fiber, as are foods like jicama, dandelion greens, and onions.
Jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) are the base of this soup, providing a great fiber base to feed your gut microbes. You may also know these artichokes as “fartichokes” because if eaten raw, they can cause quite the allotment of flatulence! But cooked lessens that after-effect, so not to worry!
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric: A Digestion Superfood
The other key ingredient in this soup is turmeric, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you know is my favorite anti-inflammatory spice. I sprinkle it in salad dressings, on roasted veggies, and in soups like this, as well as add it to smoothies and make tea lattes out of it. Curcumin is the active component of turmeric which holds the potent anti-inflammatory properties. The best way to maximize absorption of curcumin is by consuming a bit of black pepper along with it, which is why this ingredient is also included in the recipe.
With the bases covered on just how important the main ingredients in this soup are (and why I love it so so much), here is the recipe. It’s quick to make, soothing to eat, and your digestion will thank you for it!
- 4 cups filtered water
- 5-6 medium to large Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
- 1 tbsp organic turmeric
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Boil water in a large pan on the stove
- In the meantime, wash Jerusalem artichokes and chop into cubes
- Add Jerusalem artichokes to boiling water and once boiled again, turn heat down to simmer for 20 minutes
- Add turmeric, sea salt and black pepper and simmer another 20 minutes
- Turn off heat, add EVOO and blend with an immersion blender