How to get dietary diversity with plants
Plants, the quickest and easiest way to boost your nutritional health and support your immune system, but how can you make sure you're getting the diversity that your microbiome needs? Here's some simple, functional tips for super powering your diet.
1. Add herbs and spices into your cooking.
This could be adding turmeric into your dressing you put over your protein and salad for lunch. Or adding herbs such as sage, oregano and thyme into your marinade before cooking meet. Or cinnamon to your yoghurt and organic berries for breakfast. Not only are you introducing different plant types, but increasing phytonutrient (colour intake), and tapping into the powerhouse of herbs and spices!
2. Mixed leaves.
Swap your salad base between different types of lettuces, to including rocket, watercress and spinach. Or even purchase mixed salad leaves, the more variety the more your microbiome will love you!
Look at the colours you are consuming over the day, and by including all the colours over the day you will be adding in a good handful of plants throughout your day.
4. Top your meals with sprouted seeds.
This is a great way to get variety or plants and there are plenty to choose from!
Not the ones loaded with fruit as these are a high sugar load on the body, rather load it with ingredients such as avocado or green banana, mixed salad leaves/spinach, a pinch or two of your favourite spices, coconut milk (fresh), handful of organic berries. Some people even use green tea (steeped and cooled) as the base of their smoothie, to get the advantage of the benefits of green tea into their daily routine (a great option if you don’t like drinking green tea!)
In the cooler months, soups are a fantastic way of adding colour and variety of plants. Using a bone broth base is great source of collagen for your skin, and adding in combinations such as lemongrass, kefir lime leaves, ginger, with your vegetables of choose immediately increases your plant intake and provides warming thai flavours your gut will love.
A great way to add lots of different plants. The key with salads is to make the vegetables the main attraction rather than grains. Whilst some grains can be beneficial, we often overdo the carbohydrates rather than focusing on all the nutrients we can get out of adding a variety of plants (such as beetroot, carrot, celery, avocados, broccoli sprouts, organic berries, cabbages and/or cauliflower rice and so on). Did you know adding in healthy fats to a salad helps the absorption of some vitamins. Try and make your focus on plants, protein and fats (and decrease or remove the grain carbs).
And most of all enjoy the diversity and your food! Eat as close to how you find it in nature and you are starting on the right track… the more processed a food with the more unrecognisable ingredients, generally the less nutrient dense it will be.