By Cathy Smith
Take advantage of summer's abundance! We have an amazing amount of delicious produce coming in, representing the abundance of summer. A few of my current favorites are fresh figs, peaches, blueberries, arugula, beets, carrots, and cucumbers. Working at the Boise Co-op for the past 23 years allows me access to the best organic food, quality skincare, and supplements. I am truly grateful I get the privilege to eat fresh and clean every day (not counting the nacho cheese sauce I recently consumed at an outdoor concert). Unfortunately, not everyone has such ready access to quality food.
Good digestion is important. Without it, we may not be getting all the nutritional benefits of the food we consume. Not to mention the discomfort of food moving slowly through our intestines. When dinner just sits around in our gut, it can cause indigestion, keeping you awake at night. Have you tossed and turned in bed, gotten out of bed to drink some water or taken an enzyme tablet, or stumble to the loo late at night before trying to get back to sleep? Sound familiar? Let’s check out a few solutions that can help!
It's very important to chew, chew, chew. Allow the food to macerate in your mouth until a soft paste. Or, simply chew your food 20 times before letting it go down the hatch. Chewing your food properly will activate the enzymes cellulase and amylase in the saliva. This will start the process of breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It will also signal the stomach, pancreas, and intestines to release protease, lipase, and lactase. They work to break down food which allows vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Protease: breaks down protein into amino acids
Amylase/Cellulase: break down carbs into simple sugars
Lipase: breaks down fats into three fatty acid compounds
Lactase: breaks down lactose found in dairy
Many of us are lacking in these enzymes. The good news is they are available in supplements. Try taking a full-spectrum enzyme blend at the beginning of each meal to ease bloating, gas and cramps. Peppermint capsules will help to soothe and calm your tummy better than Tums.
If eating is your jam, add the following foods that rate high in natural enzymes.
Shiitake, Reishi, Maitake mushrooms.
Note: always cook mushrooms to release the beneficial compounds or take them in capsule form.
Beet the Heat Wrap
12 oz Co-op beet hummus
4-6 Savor Tooth paleo pumpkin seed wraps
4 oz lemon goat cheese
1 local cucumber
2 cups fresh greens ~ romaine, spinach, kale or arugula
1/4 cup cilantro
Karam’s garlic sauce ( you’ll want to use this on everything!)
Top the wrap with a dollop of goat cheese and warm in the oven on 350 degrees until soft and toasted.
Add 2 Tablespoons of beet hummus per wrap.
Throw in a handful of your favorite greens.
Layer on a few thinly sliced cucumbers.
Garnish with cilantro.
Top everything off with a drizzle of Karam’s garlic sauce.
Serve with sliced lemons and pumpkin seeds.
Enjoy the lush season of fresh produce from The Co-op, the Farmers Market, or handpicked from your garden!