Keep Your Gut Healthy With a Variety of Veg

Dr Megan Rossi

Dr Megan Rossi (PhD, RD), aka The Gut Health Doctor (theguthealthdoctor.com) is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and research fellow at King’s College London with an award-winning PhD in gut health, and is considered one of the most influential gut health specialists internationally. Megan is the founder of The Gut Health Clinic, set up gut-loving food brand Bio&Me, and her first book Eat Yourself Healthy is a bestselling, easy-to-digest guide to gut health and beyond.

How to get your gut-loving 30 plant points a week 

We can be creatures of habit and its easy to get into a food rut – especially when were busy. But upping your plant diversity isnt about making meals more complicated or expensive. I promise its way easier and cheaper than you might think!

Youve probably heard how important our gut health is to our general health and happiness. Looking after your gut by eating plenty of fibre, and aiming to eat the rainbow” can help to support a healthy immune system, get on top of gut issues, and more. 

Veg is high in fibre, comes in a variety of colours and types, and keeps your gut happy!

My motto: enjoy 30 plant points a week for a diverse, balanced diet to nourish your gut health. Vegetables are an essential part of this. 

Why the big 30?

The 5-a-day(or even '7-a-day') rule can be a good place to start – but it doesnt take into account the trillions of microbes living in our gut. They all need different types of plant foods to flourish.

For good gut health, the goal is diversity. So where has the magic 30come from? Fuelled by research that Ive then tested out in clinic, one of the key studies demonstrated that people who eat at least 30 different plant-based foods a week had more diverse gut microbes than people who ate less than 10. Its certainly not as black and white as a single number, but in clinic 30 has shown to be an effective target, hence my recommendation for you guys!

And the more diverse plant foods we feed our gut microbes, the more diverse they become and the more skillsthey have to…

  • Train our immune cells.
  • Increase our resilience to infection.
  • Strengthen our gut barrier.
  • Communicate with our brain.
  • Balance our blood sugar, lower blood fats and help prevent against many diseases.

What counts? All of your fruits, veg, wholegrains, legumes (beans and pulses), nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. 1 portion per point, with herbs and spices getting 1/4 point each.

Variety is key here and theres no need to get caught up on portions at first - focus on diversity. By having small amounts throughout the week, chances are itll add up to enough portions overall. 

Once youre hitting your diversity goals, thats when it can be time to start thinking about portions (a full portion is around 80g of veg per serve, or 50g for children, but I certainly dont recommend weighing your meals - in most cases its roughly a handful (adults or childs) which is easier to remember anyway!).

Heres what 30 plant points can actually look like:

VEG – Tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, pepper, sweetcorn, spinach, potato, onion, peas, carrot, etc

FRUIT  – Grapes, apricot, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, apple, banana, orange, kiwi, etc

GRAINS – Oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, wholewheat flour, etc

LEGUMES, NUTS & SEEDS – Chickpeas, lentils, tinned beans, pack of seeds, pack of nuts (mixed for extra points!), etc

Good gut health does NOT need to be time-consuming or costly (no expensive supplements here) – simple changes can make a big difference.

How many different plant points have you had this week?

To find out more, head to theguthealthdoctor.com or @theguthealthdoctor

By registered dietitian and nutritionist, Dr Megan Rossi (PhD, RD), also known The Gut Health Doctor 

About the author

Dr Megan Rossi

Dr Megan Rossi (PhD, RD), aka The Gut Health Doctor (theguthealthdoctor.com) is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and research fellow at King’s College London with an award-winning PhD in gut health, and is considered one of the most influential gut health specialists internationally. Megan is the founder of The Gut Health Clinic, set up gut-loving food brand Bio&Me, and her first book Eat Yourself Healthy is a bestselling, easy-to-digest guide to gut health and beyond.

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