When it comes to digestion, keeping your stomach calm, healthy and lean is directly connected to the foods we put into our body. Our digestive system is responsible for processing waste and extracting nutrients, all the while providing support to our immune system, endocrine system and nervous system. This dynamic system assimilates nutrients from the food we ingest, delivers them to the rest of the body and eliminates toxins. Making gut-healthy food choices is essential to maintaining not only digestive health, but overall wellness!

Foods rich in probiotics, prebiotics and fiber contribute to a healthy digestive system and a happy belly. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable known for its numerous digestive health benefits. Much like other vegetables, cabbage is rich in dietary fiber which is essential for regularity. Cabbage is also a natural detoxifier, cleansing the stomach and intestines and ridding the body of harmful toxins. This nutrition-packed veggie helps stimulate the immune system, kill harmful bacteria, sooth ulcers and improve circulation.

Similar to cabbage, chickpeas (and other members of the bean and legume family) are full of fiber which promotes regularity and lowers the risk of constipation. Chickpeas are also a prebiotic – a nondigestible nutrient that supplies energy to probiotics, or “friendly bacteria,” which helps to boost digestive health. Adding a handful of chickpeas to this cabbage sauté adds not only fiber but protein, folate and iron – essential nutrients to overall health.

Foods with high water content, like radishes, are excellent for digestive health. Water is essential to the metabolic processes that aids in moving material through our digestive tract. Radishes are a naturally cleansing agent for our digestive systems and help break down and eliminate toxins that build up over time. This little root vegetable also creates a calming relief from bloating and indigestion.

The splash of lemon juice in this gut-healing meal not only adds a touch of vitamin C, but also helps the digestive system break down essential minerals by activating the salivary glands.

In order to avoid bloating and gas, it is important to slowly and steadily incorporate more fiber rich, detoxifying foods into your diet especially if you are not already used to them. Increase your intake over a period of several weeks and you will slowly start to feel lighter, calm and cleansed!

1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Quinoa
1/2 Head Savoy Cabbage, cored and thinly sliced into ribbons
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1/2 Cup Radishes, sliced in thin strips
1 Can of Chick Peas (1 1/2 Cups)
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tablespoons Basil, chiffonade
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to high and cook until water evaporates and quinoa is dry and tender, about 5 minutes (stir to prevent burning).

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add half of the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and cook stirring occasionally until tender and golden brown in places, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with another 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and remaining cabbage.

Add remaining Tablespoon of olive oil to skillet. Return sautéed cabbage, add quinoa and raise to high heat. Add radishes and cook, stirring occasionally until quinoa is toasted and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chickpeas, lemon zest and juice and toss to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with basil.

Recipe Adapted From FitSugar.com

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