Eating 30 plants every week may seem like an overwhelming challenge, but research shows that it can boost your health.
Plants. They’re packed with anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients that help you stay healthy for life. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian, or a meat-eater, consuming more plants has numerous health benefits.
In fact, eating just one cup of leafy green vegetables every day has been shown to boost muscle function, according to research by Edith Cowan University. Another study discovered that eating leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — on a daily basis had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who ate little or no greens at all.
So why 30 you ask? Findings from The American Gut Project show that eating 30 or more different plant foods a week can actually help to increase your gut diversity, which has a myriad of benefits. Gut microbiome diversity is important for our overall health and research shows that it can benefit the immune system, heart health, body weight, and can reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases. It’s also essential to eat a variety of plants every week to maintain energy and vitality.
Although 30 different plants seems like a lot, it’s actually not when you consider that it’s four to five plants a day. Eat two for lunch and three for dinner. It’s that simple!
The key to achieving 30 plants a week is to plan and organise your shopping list. Think about the weekly meals you normally cook and eat, and whether you can enhance the meal by incorporating several plants into that dish. For example, if you enjoy a good Spaghetti Bolognese, switch your pasta to zucchini noodles, add some carrot and onion to the sauce and scatter some fresh basil and cherry tomatoes on top. This is an easy way to reach the goal of 30 plants per week without having to drastically change your cooking habits and spend a fortune on additional produce that you may not use.
When you think of your meals as a rainbow, that is, eating as many colours as possible, eating plants become a part of your everyday diet. It’s also fun to try a new fruit or vegetable that you have never eaten before every week. Get your family in on the action too! This way you know that you are increasing the diversity of your gut microbiome and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Start your planning what plants you will eat this week, use a shopping list at your next visit to the grocery store and organise your meals in advance!
Join me on my challenge #30plantsperweek