- Letisha Hodges
1 Way to Fix Gut Health That You May Be Overlooking
Updated: Jan 18
Variety is the Spice of Life AND It Is Important for Gut Health!
Let’s say you are already eating a lot of vegetables, plant-based proteins, fermented foods, and prebiotics in your diet, what is 1 more thing that you could do to boost your gut health?
Focus on the variety of plant species you are eating!
If your typical diet includes a wider variety of plants, then you will have greater biodiversity of bacteria in your gut! If you are struggling to get enough plants, check this blog out! Biodiversity is an important piece of a healthy gut! It essentially means having more than 1 type of bacteria in your intestines. Different species have different jobs which are important for health, immunity, hormones, and even weight.
There are some short-term studies showing that people who ate >30 plant species a week had greater biodiversity than those who ate 10 or fewer plants a week!
Let's be real, most of us grocery shop on autopilot.
We buy the same snacks and the same fruits every week without much thought!
If you are thinking how in the hell am I going to get 30 different plants within a week, you are not alone.
How to Boost Your Plant Diversity
1. Set a goal to try 1 new plant a week
- For example, you can try an eggplant dish one week and try a new fruit the next!
2. View variety on a weekly basis, not just a daily one.
- So maybe you normally buy apples & bananas for snacks but you could switch to kiwis & oranges or mangoes & pears the next week.
3. If you make smoothies, you could switch the frozen fruit or veggies you typically buy.
- Great vegetables for smoothies include cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, and leafy greens. You could also use sweet potato, acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, or beets but they do have a stronger flavour.
- You can even try adding silken tofu or chickpeas to smoothies for a plant-based protein boost!
4. Adding a Meatless Monday once a week can really boost your plant intake through beans, lentils, tofu, edamame, seitan, tempeh, seeds, and nuts!
- You could also try to have beans or lentils in dishes more often instead of cutting out meat entirely. Buddha bowls & stews are my favourite way to include legumes in meals!
- If you normally eat almonds for a snack, switch the type of nut or nut butters you use.
5. Switch up the starchy vegetables you use instead of just potatoes! The possibilities are endless:
- butternut squash
- acorn squash
- sweet potatoes