I listen to a lot of podcasts when I’m out walking, most of them focused on health and wellness. When I heard renowned gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (“Dr. B”) speak about the importance of fiber in our diets, I immediately ordered his book, Fiber Fueled.
Backed by science, Dr. B. challenges elimination diets like Keto and Paleo, which he says may be hazardous to our health. It turns out that gut health may be the most important thing we need to worry about and the best way to build a healthy gut microbiome is to eat a lot of fiber. Fiber helps our gut microbes to create short-chain fatty acids that are essential to our health, proven to promote weight loss, repair leaky gut, optimize the immune system, reduce food sensitivities, lower cholesterol, reverse type 2 diabetes, improve brain function and even protect against cancer.
Of course, fiber comes from plants – fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes. A diversity of plants is essential for ideal gut flora. Dr. B says we should be eating at least 30 different plant foods per week.
He also promotes F GOALS – essential foods you should try to incorporate daily in order to build a healthy gut:
F – Fruits and Fermented foods
G– Greens and whole grains
O – Omega 3 super seeds: chia, hemp, flax
A– Aromatics: onions, garlic, leeks (Dr. B suggest you “chop and stop” ie/ chop your aromatics and let them sit for 10 minutes before using in recipes, in order for the healing enzyme allicin to form.)
L – Legumes
S – Sulforaphane – this is a natural plant compound found in many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. Also under S category: seaweed and ‘shrooms
My plant-based challenge to each of you is to try to include 30 or more different plant foods in your diet over the next 7 days.
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