If you have a diverse diet, you have diverse microbes, and therefore have a diverse gut. That is all we have to do to help improve our gut health and therefore our overall health. The problem unfortunately is that we do not have as diverse of a diet as we should.
This is not just about a processed diet vs whole food diet. Yes, a processed food diet is bad for our good microbes but a whole food diet that is not diverse can also be a problem. Most of us consume no more than 15 different foods in a week. There are also even adults who refuse to eat vegetables, which feed your gut and help your gut bacteria thrive.
Taking it a step further, some also choose to eliminate food groups such as grains and legumes, which is taking out a range of substantial foods that will feed many beneficial bacterial species.
This is just basic diversity and it gets more complicated. So not only do we all need to be more adventurous and try to eat different foods, we need to eat different varieties of the same food. And this is one of biggest changes we have had in our diets. So while researchers continue to unravel the mystery of our gut and figure out what we should feed it, specifically for specific benefits, we can do more to increase the diversity and build a stronger gut by eating new foods.
Here are a few things you can do to diversify:
1) This week, buy three new foods you do not eat regularly. They can be foods you have never had or foods you like but for some reason never buy.
2) Buy yellow or rainbow beets instead of red beets. Choose purple or white carrots instead of orange. Buy a different type of grain bread.
3) Go to farmer’s markets and talk to the local farmers. Generally, these are the farmers who still grow a variety of crops. Let them know you are interested in trying different varieties of tomatoes or potatoes etc.
4) Shop at different ethnic stores and look for new grains and legumes. Think of the fun and adventure you can have – you and your microbes with be happier.