Eating 50 different foods each week is a great way to feed your gut microbiota.
The microbiota is the collective name for the millions of bacteria, yeasts, and fungi living in our digestive system.
These bugs work incredibly hard, and are involved in:
– Modulating our immune response
– Influencing immune cell function
– Regulating inflammatory pathways
– Communicating with the brain to regulate mood and mental wellbeing
– Detoxifying hormones and toxins
– Maintaining the lining of the gut wall
– Producing various vitamins
They feed on dietary fibre and utilise phytonutrients (plant-based compounds) like polyphenols to work effectively and keep potentially harmful microbes in check.
Eating a varied and colourful diet that contains lots of different fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, wholegrains, herbs and spices supports a balanced and well functioning microbiota.
This doesn’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan diet, eating good quality meat, fish, eggs, and dairy is fine alongside a wide range of colourful plant foods.
Variety is the key here – eating the same foods everyday makes for a boring diet for you and your gut bugs!
Find out how many different foods you are currently eating each week by using the 50 Foods tracker chart, created by Nutritionist & Clinical Neuroscientist Miguel Toribio-Mateas.
You are aiming for 50 to give your gut bugs plenty of variety – how close are you?
Remember, herbs and spices count too, and are a great way to add more diversity and flavour to meals.
Let me know how you get on with this! I’m on Twitter & Instagram as @nutritioninyork, or you can hop over to the Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/nutritioninyork
P.S. Spoiler alert – it was easier than I thought and I got to 50 within 5 days!