By plants we don’t mean you should head out into your garden and nibble your tulips. Plant-based foods include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Not only are plants great sources of vitamins and minerals, but they are packed with hundreds of types of fiber and thousands of compounds, called polyphenols, that can offer all sorts of health benefits.
Adding more plants to your diet can help you boost your gut health, lower inflammation, and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions.
The fiber and polyphenols in plants help improve your gut by feeding your good bugs, and keeping your microbiome diverse. A healthy gut helps you fight inflammation, and our science shows it can also help with blood fat and sugar control.
- The fiber and polyphenols in plants help lower inflammation by preventing blood sugar spikes, as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
- Fiber also helps keep your bowel habits regular, warding off unpleasant effects on the gut such as constipation.
- Plants are also densely packed with essential vitamins and minerals which we need for our optimum health and wellbeing.
Aim for at least five portions of plants a day
Many of us struggle to get enough gut-boosting fiber in our diet. General guidelines recommend 30g of fiber per day but diversifying your sources is very important. So aim to get your fiber from at least five different plant groups per day.
You may need to slowly build up your intake to allow your gut to adjust to larger doses of fiber.
Improve your microbiome diversity
We know that, generally speaking, a higher diversity in your gut microbiome is associated with better health.
A diet that is rich and diverse in plants is key to keeping your microbiome diverse. Because plant-based food contains hundreds of different types of fibers and thousands of polyphenols, it can feed many specific types of gut bacteria, helping you grow your garden of good bugs.