Your gut is where the majority of your health actually begins. The good (and bad) bacteria in your gut have a big impact on your bodily functions – your skin, your immune system and obviously your digestive system itself.

Most people, women especially, suffer from some form of IBS or gut-related issues. We wonder why we are sluggish all the time, why we have skin breakouts or constantly suffering from flu. Well, a lot of these things can stem from our diet and how our diet affects our gut.

So how do we start healing our bodies? It doesn’t need to be a highly restrictive diet plan or complicated eating regime – you can make a few small changes that have a massive impact. Simply start by cutting out refined sugars, wheat products, and any highly processed foods. If you don’t understand or can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label, put it back! Next, try and introduce some gut-healing foods such as healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil nuts), clean & lean proteins (sustainably-caught fish and legumes), and a healthy dose of high-probiotic foods.

What are high-probiotic foods? Fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, kombucha, and any Omega-3 sources support the growth of probiotics and good bacteria in your gut. You can also buy a decent probiotic from your nearest pharmacy – a ProbiFlora 9 Strain, for example – and introduce that into your daily vitamin routine to support your digestive system and heal your tum.

You can add the good stuff we mentioned above to your usual daily meals. Add a little sauerkraut, flaxseeds (omega 3s) and avocado to a salad or a gluten-free sandwich. Have a few slices of apple with almond nut butter and some sesame seeds on top. Even just adding a glass of kombucha here and there is a great way to start the healing process. If you’re really stuck for ideas we’ve put together 3-Ways with Sweet Potato Toast for easy and DELICIOUS snack or lunch options, with high gut-healing properties.

 

3-Ways with Sweet Potato Toast:

Hummus, Beet Sauerkraut & Black Sesame:

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Potato

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 tbsp Hummus

2 tbsp Sauerkraut (you can get any variation – we used beet & cabbage)

Pinch Black Sesame Seeds

Method:

  1. Slice your sweet potato lengthways into slices about 8mm thick.
  2. Brush the slices with olive oil and either pop the sweet potato into your toaster or into your oven on grill, turning after a few minutes to toast either side evenly. You will want to watch your sweet potato toast to get it to the level you like – leave it for longer for a more charred, crispier finish.
  3. Spread the hummus, add the sauerkraut and sprinkle your sesame seeds to finish.

You get a fantastic punch of protein from the chickpeas in the hummus, all your probiotic cultures from the fermented sauerkraut and extra nutrients from the sesame seeds!

 

Smashed Avo with a Toasted Omega Mix:

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Potato

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Avocado

1 tsp Minced Garlic

1 tsp Lemon Juice

Omega Seed Mix (flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds & pumpkin seeds)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Slice your sweet potato lengthways into slices about 8mm thick.
  2. Brush the slices with olive oil and either pop the sweet potato into your toaster or into your oven on grill, turning after a few minutes to toast either side evenly. You will want to watch your sweet potato toast to get it to the level you like – leave it for longer for a more charred, crispier finish.
  3. Toast the seeds in a pan over medium heat. You can add a sprinkle of salt here to add some flavour. You need to keep stirring them to make sure they don’t burn.
  4. Smash the avocado and mix in the garlic, lemon juice and some salt. Spread it over your sweet potato toast and finish with a sprinkle of toasted seeds!

The avocado is a fantastic source of healthy fat, and the seed mix is the perfect way of getting in those Omega 3 healthy oils!

 

Almond Nut Butter with Banana & Chia Seeds:

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Potato

2 tbsp Olive Oil

3 tbsp Almond Nut Butter  (natural peanut butter or another nut butter is also great here!)

1 Banana

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

Drizzle of honey or agave syrup (optional)

Method:

  1. Slice your sweet potato lengthways into slices about 8mm thick.
  2. Brush the slices with olive oil and either pop the sweet potato into your toaster or into your oven on grill, turning after a few minutes to toast either side evenly. You will want to watch your sweet potato toast to get it to the level you like – leave it for longer for a more charred, crispier finish.
  3. Spread the almond nut butter first before slicing the banana and adding on top. Sprinkle with some chia seeds and drizzle on something sweet if you like!

Bananas are said to reduce inflammation and work together with the microbes in your tummy to promote good gut bacteria, and those little chia seeds are your source of Omega 3 fatty acids!

Sweet potato toast is a super healthy and easy way to avoid having the wheat or gluten that you find in most bread products. If you have a health store that sells a great gluten-free bread then you can try all these topping combos on a slice of that as well!

Happy healing Lorna Jane Sisters x

Monzeglio (@leximonzeglio) is a plant-based chef and food creative from Joburg. She started out in advertising, but through her food blog (@plantlifeblog), food styling and recipe development, she made her way into a kitchen over the years. Lexi qualified through Matthew Kenney’s plant-based culinary course and now works as a chef, stylist and consultant full time.