Nurturing Gut Health

Plant Food

Gut health plays an important role in mental and physical wellbeing and can have an impact on digestion, metabolism, mood regulation and immune function. In today’s modern world, it’s difficult to ensure we are consuming enough nutritional foods to assist in maintaining overall health.

A gut-friendly solution is to get into the habit of eating at least 30 different plants per week. For some, this can seem like a daunting task, especially for those that struggle to meet daily vegetable or whole grain quotas. As a guide, aiming to eat 4-5 different plant foods per day can assist in resetting or boosting gut health.

Introducing a more diverse diet that includes plant foods will offer great benefit. With mindful strategies and small adjustments, achieving this goal can become more manageable and rewarding. Consider the following tips:

  1. Explore New Produce: Try a new fruit or vegetable each week, including frozen or canned options.
  2. Shop at Local Markets: Seasonal, fresh produce, will expand fruit and vegetable choices.
  3. Embrace Whole Grains: Integrate a new whole grain product into your meals weekly.
  4. Enhance Flavour with Herbs: Incorporate different herbs and microgreens into your cooking.
  5. Embrace the Rainbow: Aim for a minimum of three different coloured vegetables in each meal.
  6. Utilise Mixed Beans: Incorporate mixed beans into soups, salads, and stews.
  7. Use Frozen Fruits: Keep frozen fruits on hand to enhance yogurt, porridge, or smoothies.
  8. Plant-Based Proteins: Substitute meat with tofu, beans, chickpeas, or lentils once or twice a week.
  9. Sprinkle with Seeds: Add a sprinkle of mixed seeds to your breakfast dishes.
  10. Opt for Nutty Snacks: Choose mixed, unsalted nuts for a satisfying and nutritious snack option.

To aid in adding more plant diversity, consider creating a visual table of plant options, as per the below. This resource can serve as a handy reference, inspiring creativity and encouraging exploration in the kitchen.

Prioritising gut health through diverse plant-based eating is a powerful step towards enhancing overall wellness. For nutritional guidance, book in with our dietitians.

Written by Lizzie Gralton – Accredited Dietitian

Plant Food Planner

The Specialist Network is a dedicated group of private surgeons providing an extensive range of specialist services to the local community. Our surgeons stay updated on the latest surgical advancements and routinely consult in the fields of colorectal and general surgery.

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