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How varied is your diet?

As poet William Cowper said – “Variety's the very spice of life. That gives it all its flavour.”

Balanced diet from a variety of fruit and vegetables

Variety can enrich life in many ways. From meeting new people and to going different places or immersing ourselves in a new book, film or music; we benefit from variety.

Eating a wide range of foods is great for our health and can keep your gut happy. Plant based food from fruit and vegetables, beans, herbs and spices to nuts, seeds and grains contain a wide variety of nutrients. To give yourself access this diversity eating a wide range of different foods is the key to a balanced diet. The bacteria in our gut all need different types of plant foods to flourish.

You’ve probably heard of the saying ‘Eat the Rainbow’ and that is a great place to start. Choose fruit and vegetables with a range of different colours. Another aim for eating deliciously and healthily is to try and fit 30 different plant based foods into your week. With a little planning and curiosity it really is much easier that it sounds. Portion size is not important this is about diversity! If you include 5 different plants each day of the week, you’ll easily exceed 30 a week.

Why not:

  • Add some beans to a soup or chickpeas to a curry
  • Sprinkle some toasted nuts and seeds onto a pasta bake
  • Add an extra ingredient into a salad – such as grated beetroot or carrot
  • Stew some fruit and add some spices – apple and cinnamon for example
  • Have a mixture of berries on porridge or cereal
  • Eat granola or muesli that has a mixture of grains, nuts and seeds in
  • Add something fermented to a sandwich, (fermented foods are really great for our guts)

Fresh, frozen, pickled, fermented, dried or canned… it all counts!

In my 30+ this week I’ve had:

  1. Raspberries
  2. Apples
  3. Spinach
  4. Oats
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Sunflower seeds
  7. Pumpkin seeds
  8. Leeks
  9. Onion
  10. Garlic
  11. Pumpkin
  12. Aubergine
  13. Chickpeas
  14. Carrots
  15. Cabbage
  16. Peas
  17. Celeriac
  18. Celery
  19. Mango
  20. Beetroot
  21. Peppers
  22. Pasta (Wheat)
  23. Potatoes
  24. Tomatoes
  25. Cucumber
  26. Chard
  27. Turmeric
  28. Cashew nuts
  29. Sultanas
  30. Butter beans
  31. Courgette
  32. Spinach
  33. Cinnamon
  34. Mushrooms
  35. Rice

And there’s probably more I could add!

What will you try? And can you reach 30 different plant based foods this week?

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