We can probably all relate to the feeling of our unhappy gut letting us know very clearly that it does not approve of what we’ve been eating that day.
Caring for your digestive tract isn’t just something you can check off your to-do list. It’s an ongoing process that we can continue to improve by doing our own research in the sea of information on how to boost our digestive health, as well as seeking out and following the advice of medical professionals.
However, according to Tim Spector, M.D., professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat, there is a small but powerful adjustment that you can make to improve your gut health naturally.
To support his claim, Dr. Spector references a 2018 study published by the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers looked at 11,000 people’s gut microbes and their corresponding eating questionnaires and discovered a key component to gut health. “It turned out that people who had the healthiest guts, which is generally the most diverse guts, were the people eating more than 30 different types of plant in a week,” explains Dr. Spector.
While 30 may sound like an overwhelming number of plants to consume within the span of a week, Dr. Spector assures us that it’s not as hard as you may think. “People forget what a plant is. A plant can be a nut, a seed, a grain. It can be an herb, a spice. So, it’s actually not that hard as long as you don’t have the same thing every day. That diversity was much more important than if you were vegan or vegetarian or meat-eater,” he says.
You can help yourself reach the golden number 30 by throwing in a couple of varieties of nut butter to your diet, having whole-grain toast, making sure to include a salad at lunch, and perhaps finish it off with cauliflower pizza for dinner. By the end of the day, you’ll have had almost a dozen different types of vegetables!