I get cravings quite frequently for comfort meals, and to me Butter Chicken classifies as one of those dishes.
It’s creamy, warm, cozy and delicious, but it’s also traditionally laden with dairy (hello butter, yogurt and cream) that my gut tends to reject (gas, bloating, the works).
So, I set out on a mission to create a more gut-friendly Butter Chicken, still robust in flavor but much easier on the digestive tract, limiting uncomfortable symptoms and maximizing that feel good factor.
This is also especially important for your hormones, as the state of your gut health is intricately tied to hormone function, and keeping your microbiome balanced leads to better hormonal health.
In today’s world, we’re exposed to a variety of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, processed foods, prescriptions, alcohol, drugs and stress that wreak havoc on our gut microbiome, causing what’s known as dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the gut bacteria.
When gut bacteria becomes unbalanced, food and nutrients aren’t absorbed well, and larger molecules are able to cross the gut wall, causing food sensitivities and increasing inflammation in the body. This can provoke an immune response and trigger an autoimmune condition if left untreated, leading to hormone disruption, such as impaired ovulation or progesterone production (infertility), overstimulated estrogen or testosterone (painful periods, PCOS, endometriosis and breakouts) and blocked thyroid hormone (metabolism, temperature, mood, etc.).
It also affects hormone production, as nutrient absorption via your gut is necessary in order to synthesize hormones (i.e. it’s not just what you eat but how well you actually absorb it).
In order to optimize both gut and hormone health without sacrificing flavor, I added/swapped in the following ingredients to this Gut-Friendly + Hormone Healthy Paleo Butter Chicken recipe:
One of nature’s richest sources of butyrate (butyric acid), a short-chain fatty acid that helps to heal + repair our intestinal tract.
Made up of medium-chain-triglycerides that help the gut metabolize fat and remove waste from the body. Coconut yogurt has the additional benefit of being fermented, adding natural probiotics that help your good bacteria thrive (speaking of probiotics, this is my fave probiotic supplement to enhance gut-health).
Rich in glucosinolates, a sulphur compound that helps protect the vulnerable lining of the stomach, reducing the chances of developing leaky gut syndrome or other digestive disorders.
Spices like cumin and ginger aid in bile and stomach acid production, which helps you digest and absorb food properly, while turmeric has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent, working to decrease gut inflammation and permeability (aka leaky gut).
Loaded with gelatin, which has been shown to protect and maintain the function of the intestinal wall, helping to prevent gut permeability (aka leaky gut).
This Gut-Friendly + Hormone Healthy Paleo Butter Chicken recipe is rich in powerhouse nutrients (b vitamins, vitamin c, zinc, magnesium) that work to boost progesterone so levels can get high enough to offset pms and properly thicken the uterine lining.
Warming spices like cumin, turmeric and ginger also optimize digestion, fight inflammation and decrease bloat and water retention, which typically increases during your luteal phase.
Adding healthy fats like coconut milk, yogurt and ghee and help to supply your body with the energy it desperately needs and craves this week.
Looking for more gut-friendly recipes + recommendations? Check these out:
This cozy + comforting dish gets a gut-friendly upgrade by swapping dairy for ghee, coconut yogurt + milk and adding in cauliflower rice + bone broth.
Author: Lauren Chambers
Recipe Type: dinner, entree, comfort food
I’m honored to support you on your journey to optimal hormone health + happiness. Thanks for being here babe.