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National Vegetarian Week 2023 15-21 May By Isha Patel

National Vegetarian Week (May 15 – May 21)

Eating a plant-based diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. A diet rich in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, can have a positive impact on gut health.

The gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract, plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to a stronger immune system, better digestion, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Eating plant-based foods can support a healthy gut microbiome in several ways. 

First, plant-based foods are high in fibre, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion. Fibre helps to feed the good bacteria in our gut, which can help to maintain a diverse and balanced microbiome.

Second, plant-based foods are rich in prebiotics, which are compounds that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics can be found in foods such as bananas, garlic, onions, and asparagus.

Finally, plant-based foods are generally lower in fat and processed ingredients, which can contribute to inflammation and disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome. In addition to supporting gut health, a plant-based diet has many other health benefits. Plant-based diets have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

If you are interested in incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet, start by adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to your meals. Below is a recipe for you to try today!

Harissa chickpeas with silverbeet

Serves 2

Prep Time 10 mins Cooking Time 15 mins

Ingredients: 12

harissa-chickpeas-1

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 silverbeet leaves, stalks sliced on an angle, leaves shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp good-quality harissa paste
  • 12 mixed cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (140g) thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp zaatar (Middle Eastern spice mix)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, deep frypan over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until translucent. 
  3. Add silverbeet stalks and cook, stirring, for a further 5-6 minutes until softened and onion is starting to caramelise.
  4. Add garlic, cumin, chickpeas, tomato paste, harissa, half the tomato and 1 tbsp water. 
  5. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until well combined and tomato is softened.
  6. Add the silverbeet leaves, vinegar and a splash of water, then cover with a lid and steam for 3-4 minutes until the silverbeet is wilted but is still bright green.
  7. Season.
  8. Serve the harissa chickpeas topped with yoghurt, zaatar and remaining tomato.

If you’d like to discuss your gut health, book a consultation with us.

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