5 spots with good-for-the-gut grub in Cape Town

Whether you’re following a strict diet or looking to kick-start a healthy new food habit, looking after your gut health is an important step in the process. An imbalance in your digestive flora can play a role in a number of health conditions. Research also shows that a healthy microbiome can assist in reducing inflammation, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue and illnesses ranging from the common cold to more chronic diseases. Luckily, many local eateries are embracing a healthier trend and offering food and drink options that are brilliant for the digestive system. From fermented and cultured foods to nutrient-rich sprouts and leafy greens, here’s where to grab some good-for-the-gut grub in Cape Town.

Marrow (City Bowl)

Inspired by the ancient craft of Asian broth, this hole-in-the-wall spot offers a one-pager menu with five delicate yet satisfying bowls. The broths – which start off with the bones of grass-fed, pasture-raised animals – are slowly simmered for a minimum of 22 hours to maximise the extraction of nutrient-dense amino acids and minerals. These are beneficial for good gut health, strong joints and an improved immune system. Options include the clear bone broth with roasted chicken and chorizo, the green dashi and parsley broth with steamed white fish, tenderstem broccoli and leek, or the golden broth with kimchi and roasted sweet potatoes. There’s also a vegetarian broth featuring coconut milk and miso – another gut-loving ingredient. Wash it down with an Aceso fire tonic health shot, which is a great prebiotic that wards off sickness.

White bone broth at Marrow in Cape Town

White bone broth at Marrow in Cape Town. Photo supplied.

Nourish’d (Gardens)

This breezy little juicery and café located off Kloof Street focuses on all things locally sourced and organic. The menu features fresh juices, health shots, smoothies and bowls with a range of natural and seasonal ingredients that promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. The Moonshine Rainbow Bowl features avocado, kimchi, kale, hummus, spiralized carrots and zucchini, baby spinach, micro greens, raw almonds, and a lemon-and-ginger olive oil dressing. The kimchi (fermented cabbage) in this bowl is an excellent gut healing food, as are all the green veg. Wash it down with the Happy Hippy Green Juice, which is great for alkalizing the gut and neutralising the pH balance. The juice features kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger, and the combination of green vegetables is excellent for cleaning out the digestive system, boosting energy, and killing harmful bacteria. To take things up one more notch, try a shot of aloe vera. This can help heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract, which is crucial for the body’s immune system.

Rainbow bowls at Nourish’d in Gardens. Photo supplied.

Orchard on Long (City Bowl)

This health spot on Long Street serves up an impressive range of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, health shots, and fresh meals. Sip on Dr Ozzy’s lemonade with organic apple cider, which will give you a hit of vitamin C and a blend of alkalizing ingredients; go for the Beetroot Buzz that will soothe and detox; or try the Impala with cleansing aloe vera, cucumber and green apple. On the food front, try the Cocoa Luna smoothie bowl with raw cacao, papaya, lucuma (which supports digestion), and nut milk. Also go for one of the wraps or salads, which feature sprouts, cabbage, seeds, leafy greens and legumes.

A takeaway salad at Orchard on Long. Photo supplied.

Scheckter’s Raw (Sea Point)

This raw, organic, vegan and vegetarian restaurant based in the heart of Sea Point’s Regent Road has a strong focus on making healthy food gourmet. Kick things off with one of the cold-pressed juices like the Beet Boxer with aloe vera, beetroot and cucumber, or the Kale Kleanse for a hit of leafy veggies. If you’re feeling a bit tender, sip on a kombucha from Theonista or a hangover shot with activated charcoal, aloe vera and milk thistle. For grub, there’s a green detox soup overflowing with green veg like kale, spinach, peas, mint and coriander. It’s served with Essene bread, which is very high in fibre and contains little gluten. There’s also a Probiotic Super Bowl, which contains massaged kale, organic mung bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, organic turmeric, sauerkraut, and organic apple cider vinaigrette.

Wild Sprout (City Bowl)

This lovely new whole-food eatery offers delicious food perfect for a quick, healthy lunch. There’s a harvest table with options like cabbage salad, sweet potato and butternut salad, and broccoli and bean salad, as well as other gut-healthy dishes like grain- and dairy-free hemp waffles, or gluten-free wraps packed with leafy veggies. There are also several ‘mylk’ drinks on the menu, which are made from vegan milks (almond and/or hemp) that are great for those who want something creamy without the digestive issues dairy can cause. Also sip on some probiotic-rich kombucha brews with lemon and mint, beetroot and ginger, or carrot and pineapple.

The interior and harvest table at Wild Sprout. Photo supplied.

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