The human microbiota is a community of around 100 trillion microbial cells and the genes they contain, found primarily in the gut. It’s a hot area of study. Researchers are rapidly learning how our microbiome influences our health.

Our digestion and metabolism are inextricably linked to our microbiota. A dysfunctional microbiome has been linked to serious conditions such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, IBS, ulcerative colitis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and fibromyalgia.

According to a new review of available studies by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre, United States, “people with poor dietary diversity are more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

What is poor diet diversity? It’s a diet that lacks a variety of nutrient dense, whole foods. A nutrient poor diet can be one that includes highly processed food, white bread, pasta and pastries – foods that lack a wide range of nutrients.

When we eat real, whole foods, especially vegetables, we provide the microbiota in our gut the nutrients needed to function well and become diverse.  That means a healthy metabolism and the ability to adapt and deal with metabolic problems.

When the microbiome is undernourished, resulting in a lack of microbiotic richness, there is a rise in “type 2 diabetes, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease,” according to researchers.

Eat a Wide Array of Plant Foods

How much variety are you getting in your meals each week?

It’s easy to get into the habit of eating the same foods over and over again.  In our home it used to be green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes, and lettuce. We still eat these foods, but have added many more delicious plant foods to the mix.

If you could use more variety, download this free tracking sheet for your refrigerator.

Vegetables provide fiber and other nutrients that feed beneficial gut bacteria. What we eat determines the health of our microbiome, which influences our overall health.

Want a healthy weight, good digestion and great metabolism? Eat a wide variety of plant foods and minimize highly processed, nutrient poor foods.