As we enjoy the last of the sizzling summer sun and head into Fall, it’s a great time to bring out soothing soup recipes and still enjoy them pleasantly chilled. After you’ve been outdoors all day, this healthy version of chilled avocado soup is a great meal you can enjoy mindfully with friends while watching the sunset and zoning out.
Many of us don’t need reminding of the health benefits of avocados – their silky texture and versatile flavor make them hard not to love. But when research studies show that avocados are good for healing and sealing the gut, our love affair with the green fruit has our seal of approval.
Today, gut health is a major topic for research and it’s now acknowledged that maintenance and enhancement of gut health are far more complex than just the modulation of the gut microflora through probiotics or prebiotics. Research has highlighted that the gut harbors more than six hundred and forty different species of bacteria, contains over twenty different hormones, digests and absorbs the vast majority of nutrients, and accounts for twenty percent of body energy expenditure. It’s also the largest immune organ in the body. Thus, anything that affects the health of the gut will undoubtedly influence us as a whole and consequently alter our nutrient uptake and requirements.
If the thought of healing and sealing your gut scares you, don’t fret. It doesn’t have to be about five-day juice detoxes, eating rabbit food for weeks on end, or downing slippery elm every day. Healing and sealing your gut doesn’t have to be arduous; you can enjoy delicious meals you’d be happy to serve friends and family.
The first step in healing and sealing your gut is maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora. It should include approximately eighty-five percent good bacteria to around fifteen percent bad bacteria. However, the modern diet that is high in sugar, carbohydrates, preservatives and additives is the perfect breeding ground for promoting an overgrowth of bad bacteria that will kill off your healthy gut flora very quickly.
"...the gut harbors more than six hundred and forty different species of bacteria, contains over twenty different hormones, digests and absorbs the vast majority of nutrients, and accounts for twenty percent of body energy expenditure".
Reducing your sugar intake, consuming more dietary fiber, including more anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as avocados, and increasing antioxidant rich foods will help to eliminate bad bacteria. Probiotic and fiber-rich foods and an abundance of fresh vegetables, including leafy greens will sweep out bad bacteria from your system and have an alkalizing effect on the magical universe within, promoting a healthy gut flora balance.
Secondly, it’s important to rest your tummy twice a week. This is not about starving yourself for two days, but rather allowing your gut to repair while consuming a delicious array of healthy soups and smoothies that not only fill you up but also provide you with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Giving the digestive system a rest a couple of times a week is not rocket science and it will help to fast track your gut lining rebuilding.
The third step to healing and sealing your gut is to improve your intestinal walls. In our unhealthy modern lifestyle, gut permeability or ‘leaky gut’ is becoming a common problem. This involves the breaking down of the intestinal walls; creating ‘holes’ which allow large protein molecules to escape into the body. This may allow waste matter such as bacteria, fungus, parasites and their toxins, and undigested protein to enter your bloodstream. Having these toxins in the blood can cause allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities.
Stocking up on soups that include a mineral rich broth, are perfect in healing and sealing your intestinal walls. This chilled avocado soup can be a great addition to include in your weekly meals as not only does it include my homemade vegetable stock, but also luscious avocados which contain enzymes that aid the gut to heal.
Avocados are also a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood, and serves as a carrier of fat–soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and phytochemicals such as beta-carotene and lycopene. This little, green, nutritious dynamo not only acts as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins, but one cup of cubed avocado also contains 39% of the RDA for vitamin K, 25% of the RDA for vitamin C, and 22% of the RDA for folate.
The final step in healing and sealing your gut is to reverse your negative emotions. As much as it may seem that our emotions aren’t connected to our gut health, evidence suggests that our gut bacteria respond in damaging ways to the negative emotions and stress of the host. The hormones secreted during a stress response contribute to the overgrowth of bad bacteria. So if you are someone who suffers from stress daily, what lifestyle changes or decisions can you make to remove it from your life? Sometimes the answer is not clear and you might need to seek outside help and that’s ok. Incorporating meditation and yoga into your life may be the key to help you deal with these issues.
I hope this has highlighted how healing and sealing your gut can be possible and that there is no need for you to eat like Bugs Bunny to get results.
Avocado Soup (Mexican Style)
This recipe is from Lee Holmes' new e-book 'Heal Your Gut.' If you're looking for an extensive guide to bring your gut back to optimal health, this is the perfect companion. It's filled with over 100 pages of gut-loving information and includes a 4-week program, recipes and tips to have your insides smiling again.
- 2 avocados, ripe, pitted, peeled, and mashed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 3-4 cups homemade vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp lemon rind
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Celtic sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lime quarters to garnish
- Sauté onions in olive oil until browned
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined
- Place in bowl and chill until served