Diversifying your Diet
The foods you choose to eat everyday play an important role in your overall health. Different foods are made up of varying amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. All these nutrients provide your body with energy and elements to help it function at its best day after day. How can you ensure you’re getting enough nutrients to fuel your body every day? Well, the answer is to have a diverse diet and to diversify your dietary choices.
What does a diverse diet mean?
A diverse diet involves incorporating foods from a variety of different sources into your meals. In this way, the collection of food choices you make every day and their respective nutritional content helps you to meet your daily nutrient requirements to support your overall health.
Diversity in the diet involves eating foods from different food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy foods and animal proteins.
Here are some examples of the nutrients found in the various food groups1-4:
- Fruit, vegetables and grains provide dietary fibre, and an abundance of vitamins and minerals
- Legumes are a fantastic source of plant protein
- Nuts and seeds contain healthy unsaturated fats
- Dairy foods supply protein as well as important minerals like calcium
- Meat, poultry and fish are great sources of protein including essential amino acids
Diversifying your diet supports your gut and overall health!
Eating foods from a variety of sources helps the beneficial bacteria in our gut to thrive.5 Having an array of beneficial bacteria in the gut can help support your gut health and immune system, leading to a healthier you!6
Here are Love Your Gut’s top tips to start diversifying your diet:
- Include fruits and vegetables into your daily meals, and aim for at least 5-a-day
- Try 2 new fruit or vegetables that you don’t usually include in your weekly shop
- Opt for local and seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Incorporate protein sources from both animal and plant sources
- Opt for leaner meats like fish, chicken and turkey
- Incorporate plant-based proteins like chickpeas and lentils
- Choose high-fibre varieties of pasta, bread and rice
- Try other high-fibre grains like oats and bran flakes too
- Add nuts or seeds into your breakfast cereal or mid-morning snack
- Try out fermented foods like live yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut or kombucha which contain gut-friendly bacteria
Love Your Gut recipes
Diversifying you diet is a great way to ensure you are getting all your nutrient requirements every day, which in turn supports your overall health. Head to Love Your Gut’s recipe page to get some ideas on how to diversify your diet in the kitchen.
- British Nutrition Foundation (2018) Dietary Fibre. Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/fibre.html(Accessed February 2021).
- British Dietetic Association (2018) Fat Facts: Food Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/fat.html (Accessed February 2021).
- British Dietetic Association (2017) Plant-based Diets: Food Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/plant-based-diet.html (Accessed February 2021).
- British Nutrition Foundation (2018) Protein. Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/protein.html?start=3 (Accessed February 2021).
- Heiman and Greenway (2016) Molecular Metabolism, 5(5): 317-320.
- Mosca et al. (2016) Frontiers in Microbiology, 7: 455.