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  • Writer's picturePhilippa Evans

Take the 30 plant challenge!

Are you up for a little challenge to set yourself up for winter wellness? Then how about trying to eat 30 plant foods in a week to boost your health.

We all know that eating plants is good for us, but eating a large variety is even better! A varied diet is the key to giving you a range of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that contribute to a healthy, happy you!

More plants also contribute to a diverse microbiome - the trillions of microbes living in our gut. Plant foods can improve our gut health by encouraging the growth of different species of bacteria. A diverse microbiome can increase our resilience to infection, boost our immunity and help to prevent bowel conditions. It may also help to reduce the risk of other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, allergies, depression and more.

But why 30?

Researchers at the American Gut Project, the largest published study to date of the human microbiome, found that people regularly eating more than 30 different types of plants each week had a significantly more diverse mix of gut microbes than those eating less than 10. So, the bigger variety of foods you can eat per week the better!

How does it work?

Give yourself one point for each different plant food you eat during the week, and a quarter point for each herb and spice. Each food item only counts once in the week, even if you eat it lots of times.

What counts?

Plants include all fruits and vegetables, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, wholewheat flour), nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.

Easy hacks to get your 30

  • Buy a bag of mixed frozen berries and add a handful to your breakfast

  • Try a new vegetable you don’t usually buy – how about roasted aubergine, mashed celeriac or stir fried sprouts

  • Add tinned mixed beans to a stew, curry or soup to get 3 or 4 different varieties at once

  • Snack on rye or oat crackers dipped in hummus or guacamole and tick off a couple more plant foods

  • A salad or stir fry is an easy way to add lots of different plants to your plate

  • Swap a processed snack with a small handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit

Stick a chart to your fridge to keep track of each plant food you eat and enjoy something new - your gut bacteria will thank you for it!

If now is a good time to benefit from some extra support to help you eat well and feel energised, get in touch for a chat or to ask any questions here. I provide personalised nutrition and lifestyle support to help you take simple, realistic and enjoyable action steps for your long-term health. Find out more at and get set for winter wellness.

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