Diet Variation

Do you find yourself eating the same food over and over again? It’s easy right? Well, they don’t say “variety is the spice of life” for nothing. Having a variety of foods in your diet is beneficial for many things. 

  1. Gut microbiome – We have more bacteria and viruses living in our body than we do cells in the body. These bacteria and viruses are called the microbiome. Our microbiome is fueled by the foods we eat. If we eat the same foods over and over again, we’re fueling the growth of some microbiome species but not others, so we can throw off the balance of these species in our gut. The more variety in our diet, the more variety of microbes our gut will host. The greater the diversity of our gut microbiome, the better our overall health. 
  2. Essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids. The food we eat becomes the building blocks of our body. Having a diverse sampling of food in our diet gives us a wider variety of nutrients for our body to utilize. Not only this, but certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids are assimilated more easily from some foods than other foods. Let your body have a chance to select easily digestible nutrients by having a variety of foods. 
  3. Longer Life. A study of 60,000 women showed that incorporating more than 16 different healthy foods in your diet will give you 42% less changes of death than people who consume 8 or less healthy foods in the diet. Each additional healthy food above 8 lowers your risk of death by 5%. Think of health foods as fresh fruit and vegetables, pastured protein, and wild caught fish; think of unhealthy food as refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and inhumanly raised, highly processed meats.
These three benefits just scratch the surface of what variety in your diet can do for you. Count up the healthy foods you regularly add to your diet. Take a moment to assess this number, is it less than 8? Greater than 16? Or somewhere in the middle? Regardless of where you fall, let’s try to increase this number to better your overall health. This week try adding 1 healthy food to your plate each day. 
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