One thing that the health scene has gotten right and that has been proven to outlive the Instagram trend is the infamous grain bowl and their new found love for gut-health. Grain bowls are light enough to keep you energized throughout the day yet loaded with nutrients to ensure your body is well fueled and your gut bugs are happy.
In the Healing to Happy gut-healing programs we focus on sticking to the Rule of 5 to ensure we’re building plates that not only taste good but are rich in a diverse range of fibers. Our guts are the ruler in ensuring that we’re healthy from the inside out, so keeping them in top shape is smart.
When looking to build a diverse and nutrient dense plate, you want to see a lot of color, which is something a grain bowl is known for. Color gives you an idea of the type of phytochemicals found in plant foods that give them their health benefits. This is why eating the rainbow is key and why if you’re looking to keep your gut and your health happy, you should be adding these into your weekly meal inspo!
Gutting Healthy With Grain Bowls
By now, you’ve most likely caught onto the buzz that maintaining good gut health is good for your overall health and wellbeing. Thankfully, boosting your gut health can come with some minor tweaks to your diet, all of which you can apply when building your grain bowl.
On top of making sure that your bowl is filled with a vibrant color spectrum to make sure you have a wide range of different fibers for your gut bugs to munch on, adding in some fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles will help to give your bowl that probiotic boost.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that you want to flood your colon. These healthy bacteria ensure that your internal ecosystem is healthy and thriving to keep you healthy and thriving. These pickled foods also contain a lactic acid that helps to boost digestion and bring some ease to that belly.
Let’s Gut Building:
Now that we understand the importance of our gut bacteria being well fed, let’s start building a gut loving bowl, shall we?
- Base: You’ll want to choose a base for your bowl. Since we’re looking to be gentle with the gut, you want to focus on having a sprouted grain. This will allow for easier digestion. To do this, soak your grains the night before and then cook them up (trick: cook once, eat multiple times by cooking extra that you can use throughout the week!).
- Fiber: Choose a variety of vegetables in an array of shades like eggplant, squash, spinach, and carrots so you'll create a dish that's not only beautiful but also nutritionally varied. Opt for cooked and fresh to give some extra diversity.
- Probiotic: Choose your probiotic booster- kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, or tempeh are all great options that will give your colon that good bacteria boost while also assisting with digestion.
- Prebiotic: Choose your prebiotic booster to make sure your probiotics are well fed. Prebiotics are the indigestible fibers that used as food for the good bacteria. Good sources of prebiotics include green bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, honey, pistachios, asparagus, artichokes, spinach, dandelion greens, wild blueberries, apples, kiwi, soybeans, chia and flax seeds, and whole wheat foods.
- Protein: You’ll want to make sure that you are getting in a good quality protein with your grain bowl. You can do anything from free-range chicken to tempeh depending on your dietary needs, but you definitely want to make sure you’re adding this to your grain bowl to help keep your moods stable and your energy boosted.
- Healthy Fat: Finally, to make sure the bowl is nutrient dense, you want to top your bowl with a healthy source of fat. Consider the dressings and toppers you add to your bowl to round out the ingredient mix. Think things like nuts, seeds, and colorful dressings made up of different healthy fats like cold-pressed olive oil, tahini, and walnuts.