The latest healthy eating advice doing the rounds is to eat 30 different species of plants per week. I say it’s the latest advice but I only mean it’s new in terms of gaining a critical mass following. Eating lots of different species has been good diet advice for a long time so this is nothing new.
Years ago I watched a talk by an archeological scientist who studies human diets from the ancient past and she gave the best diet advice I had ever heard which boiled down to just three things:
- Eat fresh foods
- Eat whole foods
- Eat lots of species
The 30 plants per week comes from a British epidemiologist, Tim Spector, who specialises in gut health. His advice for a healthy and happy gut microbiome is much the same as the archeological scientist whose TED talk from 2013 is at the link above.
Here are Tim’s tips for a healthy gut in just 3 minutes.
Being vegan I didn’t think I needed to do anything special to get to 30 plants per week. That sounds easy to me but out of curiosity I decided to count the number of species I ate yesterday. It was 32.75. I hit the goal in one day without trying. Easy peasy. The .75 is because herbs and spices only count as 1/4 since they’re consumed in such small quantities although I tend to be very generous with them since we don’t use any salt.
Here’s what I ate:
Breakfast: oats, linseeds, kiwifruit, soya yoghurt (fermented with no sugars), tea, coffee, chocolate (7)
Lunch: Home made sourdough (wheat, rye, oats, linseeds, nigella seeds, barley), tofu, beetroot, avocado. I can’t recount oats, linseeds, and tofu since I ate those for breakfast too. (5)
Snacks: banana, nakd bar (dates, cashews, raspberries, raisins, sultanas), cashews, walnuts (7)
Dinner: parsnips, onion, garlic, red lentils, apple cider vinegar, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli, tumeric, pepper, coriander (7.75)
Dessert: Avocado, cocoa, date syrup, almond butter, strawberries, raspberries, black currents, red currents, black berry, chia seeds (6)
2 thoughts on “30 plants a week”
Fascinating, thank you!
I’ve been told about the 30 plants by a friend of mine for ages. I don’t think I do it, but it would be interesting to start counting, especially as your list points out it is relatively easy to do.