When you visit the produce section, do you tend to grab your usual stand-bys? Maybe a lettuce, a broccoli and a bag of carrots? How often do you venture out of the box, and try a fresh herb or vegetable you've never cooked with before?
In today's article, we'll explore why it's important to find variety in your veggie selection, and how to do it.
1. Twenty a Week
I was really struck by something I heard from Jeff Leach of the American Gut Project on Chris Kresser's podcast, Revolution Health Radio. Jeff has studied the gut microbiome in-depth, even living with tribes in Africa to learn how their diet and lifestyle effects their gut differently.
Fiber is a filament, creating the structure of a plant. And each type of fiber provides a unique 'meal' for the gut. Sometimes a fiber is feeding bacteria in the gut, sometimes it's cleansing the gut and removing toxins.
So Jeff recommends eating twenty different types of vegetables a week to provide a nice variety to the gut. To learn more about Jeff's research, visit his site.
2. Color Has Meaning
While you work on getting your twenty types of veggies, also look to see that your daily diet of veggies has a variety of colors. These colors are created by potent phytochemicals in plants that have abilities to prevent cancer, balance blood sugar, tone your immune system and more.
So think about purple eggplants & blueberries, red strawberries & beets, orange citrus fruits & carrots, yellow lemons, white garlic & onion, and green kale, basil & peas.
3. How To Do It
a. At the risk of making you roll your eyes, food journaling (or at least veggie journaling) helps a lot. Most of us think we are eating well and getting a lot of vegetables, but when you write it done you may not be doing quite as well as you thought.
b. Grab something totally new, once a week, at the grocery store. You can always google a recipe for it, and you'll expand your cooking repertoire.
c. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.) This way you will get food that is very fresh and local, plus you'll get some weird things you've never cooked before. I'm currently swimming in cucumbers from my CSA, and I learned how to ferment them into a delicious side dish. Sweet!
We recorded a super cute video at the historic farm our CSA comes from here.
And here's a link to find local food near you (in the U.S.).
Happy Summer and Happy Eating Fresh, Local Veggies!
P.S.- Our next newsletter will be mailed from firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep a look out for it. Lots of great articles, videos and podcasts to come!