'Eat 30 plant foods a week.'
Where and why has this idea developed?
In 2019 The British and American Gut Project, Lead by Dr Tim Spector, who is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, as well as the director of the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at St. Thomas's Hospital.
'Epidemiology - the study of the distribution and determinates of Health - related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems.'
The British and American Gut Project investigated thousands of peoples diets, harvesting how dietary structures can be correlated with different health outcomes.
A pivotal finding from the study was regarding Fibre. It is recommended that we consume as an adult between 30-35g's per day. However the study revealed, that the amount wasn't the priority, the preference is variety, and eating a diversity of plants means you harvest an array of fibre types.
The research reported that the participants who consumed an extensive variety of plant foods had establish healthy Microbiomes. The research proposed that 30 was the optimum number of different plants for fibre diversity; increasing this number made no recognised improvement. Participants with the healthiest microbiomes, reported the greatest health outcomes.
Embracing the research to consume 30 different plants a week does not mean we need to become Vegan or Vegetarian, it just means we become;
Flexitarian, someone who is a Vegetarian that occasionally enjoys meat or fish, but mainly consumes plants.
Plant-Forward, which is a style of cooking and eating that highlights plant-based foods, but includes meat and fish regularly but not as the main ingredient.
The health benefits reported by the research;
Healthier Gut Biome
Stronger Immune System
Reduced Depression Symptoms
Lower Risk of Inflammation
What are plant-based foods - all food that come from plants i.e. Fruit, Vegetables, Wholegrains, Pulses, Seeds, Nuts, Mushrooms, Beans, Herbs and Spices, where you consume the essential component plant fibre, meaning you can not count juice or oil.
How can you increase your plant foods each week?