Gut-Friendly Meal Plan

Digestive system comprises one of the most important organs in the body. It helps in breaking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates into smaller molecules to be easily absorbed into our body. There are three primary types of digestive enzymes which play a key role in breaking down these compounds which are proteases, lipases and amylases.

Pineapples are one of the delicious tropical foods which are rich in digestive enzymes. It consists of bromelain, one of the most prominent digestive enzymes. It is a protein digesting enzyme that is derived from the fruits and stem and leaves of the pineapples.

Bromelain has anti swelling and potent anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat digestive issues such as constipation, heartburn, indigestion and diarrhea. It has great capacity to counteract the effects of bacteria in the gut.

If you are looking to naturally keep your that held in check, eat pineapple or drink its juice regularly to avoid digestive problems. You can enjoy this powerful fruit during summers by enjoying it by grilling, making cocktails or even serving it on a juicy burger.

Papaya has a proteolytic enzyme called papain which helps treat several digestive ailments.

Solanum nigrum leaves are great against digestive issues as it contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, diuretic and antipyretic properties.

Spices such as peppercorns, ginger and garlic have natural digestive properties.

Gut-Friendly Breakfast: Pineapple sheera, Semolina Upma, Pineapple Juice and Coconut Chutney

Pineapple Sheera

Ingredients

1 cup semolina

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

A pinch of yellow food coloring

1 tsp pineapple essence

1 cup pineapple pieces chopped

1 tbsp roasted cashews and almonds

4 tbsp ghee

Recipe

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan. Add semolina and fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and let it cook for 10 minutes. Add sugar, yellow food color, pineapple essence, ghee and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring in between to avoid it sticking to the pan. Add roasted cashews and almonds and mix well.

Semolina Upma

Ingredients

1 cup semolina

2 cups water

1 onion chopped

3 green chillies sliced

Half inch ginger chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds

Sprig of curry leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ghee

2 tbsp oil

Recipe

Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add Ginger, green chilies, onion and fry for 2 minutes. Add semolina and roast for another 2 minutes. Add salt and water. If possible add hot boiling water to get fluffy upma. Close and let it cook for 10 minutes in a slow flame. Add ghee and gently mix well. Keep the upma closed for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Pineapple Juice

Ingredients

2 tbsp pineapple concentrate

1 tablespoon sugar

A glass of chilled water

Recipe

Mix everything well and serve chilled.

Coconut Chutney

Ingredients

1 cup fresh grated coconut

3 tbsp roasted gram dal

3 green chilies

1 tsp jeera

1 inch ginger

Half teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves

Recipe

Make coconut, roasted gram dal, green chilies, jeera, ginger and salt into a thick paste. Temper the chutney with coconut oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Gut-Friendly Lunch: Spinach Curry, Colocasia Fry, Boiled Chickpeas, Pineapple Sheera and Rice

Spinach Curry

1 cup of spinach (Black Nightshade/Solanum Nigrum leaves)

1 onion and tomato chopped

3 green chilies

1 inch tamarind

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp mustard seeds and jeera

1 tsp asafetida

Recipe

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, asafetida, green chilies, onion, tomato and fry well. Add spinach, tamarind piece, a cup of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Smash them well.

Colocasia Fry

Ingredients

1 cup colocasia boiled, peeled and sliced

1 tsp turmeric powder and salt

2 tsp chili powder

3 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp rice flour

Recipe

Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Splutter mustard seeds and add the sliced colocasia. Add salt, chili and turmeric powder and fry for 10 minutes. Sprinkle rice flour and fry for a minute.

Snack: Pineapple Sheera ( recipe above) and boiled chickpeas with salt and turmeric

Gut-Friendly Dinner: Pepper Chicken, Phulka and Papaya

Pepper Chicken

Ingredients

½ kg chicken

1 tbsp peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds

1 inch cinnamon, 2 cloves

1 inch ginger and 8 garlic cloves

2 onions and tomatoes

A handful of mint and coriander leaves

3 green chilies

1 tsp chili powder, turmeric powder

1 ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp oil

Recipe

Add salt, turmeric and chili powder to chicken pieces and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry whole spices, onion, tomato, ginger garlic, green chilies and herbs for 15 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cool down the mixture and make into a fine paste.

Heat oil again in a pan. Sauté the chicken pieces for 5 minutes, add the mixture and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust the consistency.

Phulka

Ingredients

1 cup wheat flour

½ cup lukewarm water

½ tsp salt

Recipe:

Mix the ingredients into a soft dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Make small balls and roll the dough into phulkas. Fry them on the tawa for a minute and directly roast them on the stove flame until it puffs up. You can use a phulka stand too.

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