Plant Fibre_Elika Tasker

The Only Food Group You Need to Count

By human genetic codes, we are 99% the same but by our different microbes, we are 100% different. 

Are you surprised by how unique your microbe is? This is one of the reasons I help my clients to incorporate plant fibre rich personalised meals. 

When it comes to eating for our optimal health, it’s a given that taste is an important factor because we need to enjoy our food. But, did you know that there is another area to consider?

So, I’m not talking to you about which diet to focus on or how many grams of protein you should have. Instead, I’m asking how many plants are you eating? You want to ensure that you get plenty of plant fibre to fuel your body. 

There are 5 types of microbes that cover your whole body;

  • bacteria
  • fungi/yeast
  • archaea
  • parasites
  • virus

They’re mostly found inside the gut, creating your own ecosystem. Like any ecosystem, imagine a rainforest, you want it to thrive. We must nourish our ecosystem known as the microbiome with plant fibre in order to have the right balance of ‘good’ defending microbes to bad.

Recent research has shown links between the health of our gut to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease and autoimmune diseases.

Through Epigenetics, the term given to the study of our genetic expression, we know that we can alter our path of health with lifestyle changes including stress reduction techniques and better nutrition to avoid illnesses that could be passed to us genetically.

SO how do we nourish our personalised ecosystem?

Studies from ‘The American Gut Project’ and those from the Tanzanian ‘Hadza’ tribe have demonstrated that the diversity of the plants that we consume is the ultimate way to maintain a healthy gut. 

The Hadza tribe have 30% more biodiversity in their diet than the average person in the UK. These hunter-gatherers have 600 varieties of plants feeding their microbes over an annual cycle. I suppose with no access to Sainsbury’s, Asda, Fairprice or Wholefoods they stand more of a chance but our aim should be 30 diverse plants in our diet.

So what exactly is it that these plants give us?

All plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds & grain varieties) provide various fibres. It’s these soluble fibres that act as prebiotics and feed the gut microbes producing Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). SCFAs are anti-inflammatory and therefore have the ability to directly impact & prevent the chronic diseases we see as a result of our poor nutrition from processed, fibre-removed foods.

So, if it’s not clear, the next time you order or make a meal, consider – how many different plant varieties can you get on your plate?

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