Why you should consume 30 plants per week

Written by Sandra Mikhail, founder and director of Nutrition A-Z

Our bodies thrive when we indulge in a colourful, diverse diet.⁠ Enter the diversity diet! Consuming a more varied diet is the answer for preventing some of the gut problems that ail most of us, as it guarantees a fibre, vitamin and mineral rich diet that will empower your insides!

It’s not a lie - our gut bugs don’t appreciate a limited diet! Our gut microbiome thrives from variation. Feed your gut microbiome well and they will in turn keep your body running well.⁠ You know what these conditions have in common: allergies, autoimmune conditions, inflammatory disorders and obesity? Poor Microbial Diversity.

Enter 30 plants per week to ensure you expose your body (GM) to a range of nutrients including a diverse range of fibres.

Where does “30” come from?

Thanks to findings by The American Gut Project, eating for a good gut has shifted from your “5-a-day” thinking to 30 plants per week. Researchers discovered that people who consumed 30 or more plant foods per week had a more diverse microbiome compared to those who ate 10 or less. They also found that those who ate 30+ plant foods had more microbes that produced SCFAs (i.e. health-promoting by-products of our gut microbes fermenting fibre) and you now know that’s exactly what we want!

Getting 30 plants a week may seem overwhelming, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

Aim to work your way towards the following weekly target from each group:
  • 13-15 different vegetables
  • 4-5 different fruits
  • 3 different pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame)
  • 4 different grains and cereals (e.g. barley, wholewheat cous cous, brown rice…)
  • 3 different nuts (3) and seeds (2)
  • A variety of herbs and spices (a minimum of 6!)

Choose a 3-bean mix that you can add to soups or salads.
Go for a nut and seed mix that you can add to your cereals or salads.
Try a new fruit and vegetable each week.
Make friends with frozen food and choose a mix of frozen fruits or frozen vegetables.
Think of the number “3” – Add 3 different vegetables at lunch, dinner or both.
Swap a meat dish with tofu, tempeh, beans or lentils.
Add a new herb or spice every other day.

Chapter 4 of my upcoming book the Gut Chronicles goes into great detail on how to feed your gut microbes for ultimate gut health so make sure to order your copy today!
Gut Health General
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