By: Dr. Donna Powell & Dr. Renee M. Marchioni Beery at Gastro MD
Are you planning on celebrating the festive St. Patrick’s Day this March 17th? Whether you’re hosting a party or want to have a St. Patrick’s-inspired meal, you can still incorporate healthy decisions for your digestive health – especially if you’re trying to improve your gut health or if you suffer from gastrointestinal issues. Here are our favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes for better digestion.
1. Healthy Colcannon
What’s St. Patrick’s Day without some traditional Irish dishes? Colcannon is commonly made with potatoes, milk, butter, and cabbage. However, it may not be the healthiest when made in a conventional way due to the amount of butter and cream that goes into making the dish.
That’s why we love this recipe by Being Nutritious. They give us a healthy version of this iconic St. Patrick’s Day dish. The recipe replaces butter with plain Greek yogurt which is a probiotic and incredibly beneficial to the gut. Instead of cabbage, you can use the more nutrient-dense kale or spinach. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are excellent sources of fiber and contain a specific sugar that helps promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
2. Healthy Corned Beef
When colcannon isn’t the main dish, it’s served as a side dish that best pairs with corned beef. Rather than buying pre-made corned beef that has artificial additives which can harm your digestive health, try a healthier homemade version instead.
Here’s a healthy corned beef recipe by Wellness Mama that we love. By slow-cooking it for hours, you’re ensuring the beef brisket is extremely tender and falls apart easily. The more tender the meat is, the easier for you to chew thoroughly – which is great for your digestion.
For the brisket, all you need are the following:
● Corned beef brisket
● Black pepper
3. Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is another traditional Irish dish that people have come to expect on St. Patrick’s Day. Traditionally, shepherd’s pie uses lamb and mashed potatoes. Treat yourself to a healthier version of this iconic comfort food by replacing some of its traditional ingredients with leaner alternatives that are good for the gut.
Our favorite healthy shepherd’s pie recipe comes fromHealthy Fitness Meals. This recipe replaces lamb with lean turkey meat. Instead of mashed potatoes for the topping, this recipe calls for mashed sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and antioxidants which are beneficial for gut health; they’re also healthier than regular potatoes which are comparatively higher on the glycemic index and more likely to make blood sugar spike.