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How to be plant powered

Science is just scratching the surface of the benefits of eating as wide a variety of plants as possible. Editor-at-large Niki Bezzant shows how to get your 30+ a week.

It’s well established loading up on fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds has many health benefits.

One of the few things people across the nutrition spectrum agree on, from paleo eaters at one end to vegans at the other, is we are better off eating more plant foods.

We’ve known for some time a plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet has many health benefits including lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. In recent years, researchers have looked at how a plant-based diet affects our gut bacteria.

Data from the American Gut Study suggest eating 30 or more different plants per week is associated with microbial diversity. The study also links eating more than 30 diverse plants per week with a reduction in antibiotic-resistant genes.

Thirty plants a week may sound a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy, especially if you follow the Healthy Food Guide way of eating most of the time. Here are some examples of how to do it. Include all these meals in your week and achieve more than 30 plants in a couple of days!

First published: May 2019

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