How To Get All Vegetable Servings | 30 Different Plant Foods Per Week

29th September 2022

How To Get All Vegetable Servings | 30 Different Plant Foods Per Week

Matthew Lee

Why and how to achieve this magic number for health and wellbeing. It's easier than you may think.

 

The idea of consuming 30 different plant foods per week comes from the American Gut Project, which looked at over 10 thousand gut microflora samples (1). They found that those who ate a wider variety of plants had a much healthier gut flora.

 

We also know from further research that gut flora can do more than keep our bowels healthy. It plays a significant role in many areas, including our immunity, general mood, hormonal balance, reducing the risk of heart disease etc. Caring for our gut by eating more plant resources is a no-brainer, especially with 300,000 edible plants available globally! And you can reap the benefits of a more plant-based diet without becoming a vegan or vegetarian. Plus, any shift towards a more plant-based diet will benefit the planet as well as your health. 

 

Now consuming 30 different plant foods per week can seem like a daunting change to your diet. The first thing to do is fully understand what counts as plant-based. Plant foods are a huge cross-section of our diet and include as well as fruit and veg;

 

  • beans, peas & pulses;
  • nuts & seeds;
  • herbs & spices;
  • teas, coffees & chocolate;
  • fermented and preserved plant foods e.g. olives, and kimchi;
  • wholegrains;

    Here is an example of a day where you can clock up a substantial dent in your variety numbers (without it feeling like a struggle);

     

    First thing – Green or herbal tea (+1)

     

    Breakfast – Mushroom, spinach and chive omelette (+3)

     

    Mid-morning – Coffee (+1)

     

    Lunch – Lentil and vegetable soup made with onions, carrots, sweet potato, peppers, and red lentils (+5)

     

    Afternoon snack – Apple with peanut butter (+2)

     

    Dinner – Chickpea and butternut squash coconut curry with brown rice inc. spice mix, onions, coconut milk, squash, coriander (+5)

     

    In total = 15 different plant foods in 1 day. 

     

    This would give you 7 portions of fruit and veg, the daily magic number to aim for health and wellbeing.

     

    References:

    1. https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/mSystems.00031-18