A rich and varied diet of plant foods is linked to a healthier gut microbiome, which positively impacts the immune system.
The magic number to improve the intestinal health is 30, according to scientific research conducted in 2019 in the context of the British & American Gut Project. This study revealed that the variety of fiber from different plant foods is crucial to the health of the gut microbiome, more important than the total amount of fiber consumed. As a result, including 30 different types of plant foods in your weekly diet has been identified as the ideal goal for promoting a healthy gut and a balanced diet.
Tim Spector, an expert in the field of nutrition, explained that the amount of fiber consumed is not as relevant as the diversity of sources of fiber. Different plants contain different fiber, so eating a wide range of plant foods allows you to diversify the types of fiber ingested.
The positive effects of this practice on intestinal and general health are notable. A rich and varied diet plant foods is linked to a healthier gut microbiome, which positively impacts the immune system. Furthermore, a correlation has been observed between a Mediterranean diet rich in plant foods and better immune function. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people with healthier microbiomes seemed less likely to contract the virus. The plant-based diet is also associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms and may help reduce intestinal inflammation, thus preventing inflammation-related problems.
Plant foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, mushrooms, beans, herbs and spices. Following the rule of 30 plant foods, you can vary your diet in many ways. Herbs and spices also count as plant foods and can add flavor to meals. It’s a great idea to include legume blends like 7-bean soup and frozen fruit to add to yogurt, smoothies, or cereal. It is also recommended to introduce a plant-based food at each meal and replace meat with a vegetarian protein option 1-2 days a week.
To make it easier to reach your goal of 30 different plant foods in a week, you can use ready-made food mixes and spices to add to dishes as you cook. This way, you can quickly increase variety in your diet and promote better gut health. Following this rule of 30 can be an important step towards one balanced diet and optimal gut health.
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