Plan to repeat the recipes a lot in the first weeks.
Here are a few tried and true recipes that can help you on your journey to better digestive health through eating real food. Each recipe is an excellent choice for those with intestinal permeability, food sensitivities or autoimmune conditions. These recipes are also Paleo and low FODMAP friendly.
There’s also a handy shopping list which includes all of the ingredients you need for these recipes.
Carrot-Ginger Soup with Bone Broth and Turmeric
If you want to heal your gut, homemade soup might just deserve the #1 spot in your meal plan.
This fragrant carrot soup isn’t just comforting, it’s an anti-inflammatory powerhouse loaded with healthy fats and gut-healing bone broth. It’s also dairy-free, paleo-friendly and can be made in a low FODMAP version. It is a perfect staple for anyone with autoimmune disease or food intolerance.
Keep your freezer stocked with homemade bone broth (or stock your pantry with the store-bought version), so that you can easily whip it up on a weeknight. Or make a big batch on the weekend and freeze in small containers for weekday lunches.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (replace with a cup of chopped spring onion tops for low FODMAP version)
2 cloves garlic (omit for low FODMAP version)
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp turmeric powder
4 cups chicken bone broth
4 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can coconut milk
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Heat coconut oil in a large dutch oven. Add chopped onion, fresh ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Saute until soft.
Add bone broth and chopped carrots. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until carrots are very soft.
Turn off heat and add coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender or cool and process in batches in a regular blender.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
The basic template of this recipe can be made to use any number of creamy vegetable soups. Instead of carrots, fresh ginger, and turmeric, try substituting these low FODMAP veggie combos:
2 cups chopped swiss chard or kale + 2 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped + a dash of gluten free soy sauce
4 cups zucchini + 1 tsp Italian herbs
Gut Healing Blueberry Smoothie
Everyone needs a go-to smoothie recipe!
Smoothies are easy to prepare and loved by everyone. Add a few gut-healing supplements for an extra nutritional boost. Make a big batch and pour into freeze-safe mason jars for a freeze-ahead meal or snack. Smoothies are perfect for travel, packed lunches, and busy mornings at home. This version includes avocado and coconut milk for healthy fats, leafy greens for added nutrients, and two low FODMAP fruits for a touch of sweetness.
1 can coconut milk
1 cup blueberries
1-2 cups chopped kale or swiss chard
Filtered water (optional)
Gut healing supplements (optional)
Blend all ingredients, except filtered water, in a high speed blender.
If you want to thin down your smoothie a bit, add a small amount of filtered water and blend.
Add fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha to add a bit of probiotic power to your smoothie.
Anti-Inflammatory Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Cucumber Salad
This full meal plan is just one of the endless dinner options based on the basic template of protein + carb + veggies. Salmon is a great protein choice loaded with omega 3 fats. Sweet potato contains lots of prebiotic fiber to feed the good bacteria in your digestive system. Both are easy to prepare on the BBQ (no dishes!) or in your kitchen. A simple salad of cucumber and bean sprouts drizzled with olive oil (a healthy fat) is quick and refreshing. All of the ingredients in this nutritious meal are anti-inflammatory, plus they are paleo and low FODMAP friendly.
Salmon steaks (1 per person)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 per person)
Sea salt and pepper
Whole sweet potato
Start by prepping all of the ingredients:
Rinse and pat dry salmon steaks. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Wash sweet potato, rub with olive oil, poke with a fork and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Peel cucumber and rinse sprouts.
Squeeze lemons and divide into two parts.
First, make the cucumber salad:
Arrange cucumber slices and top with sprouts.
Drizzle with olive oil and half of the lemon juice.
Next, start the sweet potatoes.
Wrap each sweet potato in foil.
Cook in the oven at 400 degrees or on the BBQ.
Allow to cook approximately 15-20 minutes on one side and then turn. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Check to see if they are soft inside with a fork.
Keep hot inside the tin foil until ready to serve. Slice open each sweet potato and sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
Cook the salmon steaks once you have turned the sweet potatoes:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet.
When skillet is hot, add salmon steaks.
Cook 5 minutes each side in a hot skillet.
Turn off heat and add the remaining lemon juice.
There’s lots of ways to use this basic template of protein + carb + veggies:
Try grass-fed beef steaks instead of salmon. Did you know that grass-fed beef is also a source of healthy fats?
Change up your carbs with a mix of diced carrots and parsnips wrapped in tin foil. When it comes to carbs, opt for more root vegetables and fewer grains or legumes. Keep in mind that GMO crops, such as corn and soybeans, are heavily sprayed with herbicides that can damage the gut lining. If you do continue to eat some grains and legumes, choose organic if possible.
Keep a few jars of fermented veggies in the fridge for days when you don’t have time to prepare fresh veggies. Lacto fermented sauerkraut or kimchi are great choices. Fermented foods are a good source of low-dose probiotics.
Gluten-Free Mixed Berry Crumble
It’s always good to have a gut-friendly dessert recipe up your sleeve to help keep you from feeling deprived.
This recipe uses fresh summer berries that are low FODMAP friendly. Of course, frozen berries are available year-round and are easy to stock up on. Berries are lower in sugars than most fruits and have plenty of prebiotic fiber to feed the good gut bacteria in your microbiome.
You can also change up the fruit in the recipe, based on the season and your own gut-healing diet guidelines.
In a cast iron skillet or baking dish, toss berries, lemon juice, arrowroot powder and 1 Tbsp of maple syrup until the fruit is coated. Smooth the filling into an even layer.
In a mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, shredded coconut, coconut oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. Mix with a fork until crumbly.
Pour crumble mixture over the fruit filling.
Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
Soothing Slippery Elm Tea
It’s good to have some herbal tea options for your leaky gut plan as caffeine can be a gut irritant and you should minimize your intake.
Slippery elm tea is made from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree and is a traditional remedy for soothing the gut lining. The tea has a slightly gelatinous consistency, which is said to be soothing for the intestinal lining and promotes a healthy gut. Ideally we would have scientific evidence to back up the traditional use of slippery elm tea, but unfortunately, it has not been studied for its effects on human gut health. Other traditional herbal tea choices for digestive health are peppermint and ginger.
1 Tbsp slippery elm powder
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp coconut milk
A sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
1 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
Pour boiling water in a mug.
Add slippery elm powder and stir vigorously.
Add additional ingredients, according to your taste.
The Bottom Line
“Be prepared” is the official Boy Scout motto and it’s important for your gut healing diet plan too.
Reducing your reliance on processed foods and using more healthy, real food doesn’t have to make your life complicated. If you are just getting started, pick 5 easy and flexible recipes and rely on them until you get comfortable with your dietary changes. Now is not the time to introduce a long list of complicated recipe options to your meal plan.
Keeping your recipe options simple to start with also simplifies how you stock your pantry and do your food shopping. Go in with a simple plan and enjoy the gut healing process!
If you stick to your anti-inflammatory diet plan for 3-4 weeks, you will notice improvements in the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome like less bloating or reduced brain fog. This means that your dietary changes are reducing dysbiosis, improving the balance of gut flora, repairing the intestinal lining and strengthening your immune system. Anything you can do to improve your digestive health also improves your overall health. After 3-4 weeks, most of my patients feel a significant detox effect and are motivated to continue with the gut healing process.
Dietary improvement is a fundamental first step in functional medicine. For some health problems, additional steps may be necessary to treat bacterial overgrowths such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!
Transform your health
Every product is science-based, validated by real-world use, and personally vetted by Dr. Ruscio, DNM, DC.