Spring loving, had me a blast.
Spring loving, happened so fast.
I met a girl, crazy for me.
Met a boy, cute as can ah… ahh... ahh… ahchoo!
Spring fever got you down?
While Spring brings with it a sense of lightness, florals and warmth for so many, for others, the only thing that comes to mind when I say spring is suffering with sneezes and sniffles – bless you!
If the very thought of seasonal change makes your nose itch and eyes water, you’re not alone. While you can plough through the anti-histamines, decongestants, tablets and sprays or even wear a mask to protect you from days with a high pollen count, there are easier ways to clear out seasonal allergies. And it all starts in one of my favorite places - the gut.
Today at Supercharged Food HQ, we’re talking about seasonal allergies and how looking after your gut can actually help you reduce your seasonal sniffles! If you don’t believe me, let it be known that about 70-80% of your immune tissues actually live in the gut. This means that by looking after your gut you’re also caring for your immune system.
On the other hand (or other side of the soggy tissue), if you have problems with your gut, it can trigger immune-related conditions such as seasonal allergies.
So, if your gut health is compromised by, for example, consuming seven chocolate mud cakes and three bottles of wine for several weeks in a row, you can increase the inflammation in your body and worsen your reactions.
Today I'm sharing my Supercharged Seasonal Food Guide.
Foods such as refined sugars, carbohydrates and gluten can contribute to inflammation within the gut and can be a signal to start your eyes watering. When eating for allergies, cutting down on dairy is key as it can trigger mucus that can trap particles of dust and pollen which your body can view as a foreign invader, causing it to release histamine and make allergies worse.
When it comes to what to eat to lessen seasonal allergies, lean towards fresh produce loaded with antioxidants, such as berries which are high in antioxidants, including Vitamin C and iron. These have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut. Aim to include berries in your breakfast and enjoy easy to make breakfasts such as my Chia and berry overnight oat jar or Breakfast bowl.
Zinc is another key nutrient that’s needed to maintain both a healthy immune system and healthy gut lining. Eating foods rich in zinc is a sure way to look after your immune system and your gut at the same time. Go for grass-fed beef, oysters, lamb, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and spinach. When it comes to dessert, you can also get your zinc from soft serve too, just by including buckwheat, like I've done in my Golden Gut-Time Soft Serve.
Onions are another superstar ingredient that can help to reduce inflammation, as they contain a compound known as quercetin, which is a natural anti-histamine! Be sure to always start your cooking and stewing with an onion for rockstar gut and immune system healing. Soups and stews are a great way to include onions into your diet. Try my Roasted Cauliflower, Fennel and Ginger Soup or Mexican Taco Beef Stew with Guacamole.
Another supercharged way to repair gut health and improve immunity and seasonal allergies is by the inclusion of probiotics. Try kefir, sauerkraut or fermented vegetables. You can learn more about why I love probiotics so much here and grab my recipe for my favourite fermented vegetables here.
Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between seasonal allergies and a cold. To prevent a cold, I recommend slurping up a stew! My zucchini, eggplant and turmeric stew will hold down the fort when it comes to keeping your gut and immune system happy. The star of this fragrant curry is turmeric, one of nature’s most powerful healers with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.
I add a pinch of this intoxicating, bright-yellow spice to all sorts of dishes whenever I can and also include it in my Golden Gut Blend. Fresh turmeric, which is sweeter than ground turmeric, looks a bit like ginger, except its flesh is orange. Like ginger, fresh turmeric will keep in the freezer for a few months.
Enjoy this lovely stew from my latest book Supercharge Your Gut and let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Zucchini, Eggplant and Turmeric Stew
- 3 eggplants (aubergines), about 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) in total, cut into 2 cm (3-4 inch) cubes
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, or finely grated fresh turmeric
- 2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut cream
- 6–8 zucchini (courgettes), about 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) in total, thickly sliced
In a large bowl, toss together the eggplant, turmeric and salt.
Melt half the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat.
Add half the eggplant and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to take on colour; you may need to add more coconut oil, depending on your eggplant. Remove to a bowl.
Brown the remaining eggplant in the remaining coconut oil, adding more oil if needed, then set aside in the bowl.
Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the coconut cream, then add the zucchini and the eggplant.
Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the zucchini and eggplant are tender.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with your choice of side.