The importance of including variety in your diet

Studies have found that having a greater variety in your diet, in relation to healthy foods, is linked to a lower risk of diseases such as metabolic syndrome [1]. But what could be the reasons behind this? And what are the benefits of adding variety to your diet?

1. Higher intake of nutrients

Including a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices in your diet is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you need. Many fruits and vegetables are bursting with vitamins and minerals, all of which are needed for your body to function at its best. Nuts, seeds, herbs and spices are also made up will all different nutrients and adding these to your diet can help increase variety.

Each food has a unique blend of nutrients, it is a great idea to switch things up, try new foods and include a variety in your diet to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. If you’re worried about the amount of carbohydrates in certain fruits and vegetables or which ones are best to include on a low carb diet, then check out our food list by signing up to the Low Carb Program today.

2. Surpise your taste buds and beat food boredom

Often we can get into a routine of eating the same foods every day, most people are guilty of having the same go-to meals on a weekly basis. This may be an easy hack for you, but it is likely you will quickly get bored of the same meals, which may lead to you falling off track and reaching for takeaway meals or fast foods. Switching up your meals and adding some variety to your plate can help you stay motivated and enjoying your meals. Take part in our challenge this week and try 7 foods you’ve never eaten before – your taste buds won’t know what’s hit them!

3. Broaden your cooking ability

Trying out new recipes each week and pushing yourself to try new foods will help build your confidence in the kitchen and improve your cooking ability. Many people shy away from trying new things incase they don’t succeed, but the more you try the better you will get. Practise makes perfect as they say! Being able to cook is an important life long skill and your future self will thank you for putting in the time! Don’t know where to start? Try these tips:

  • Try different world cuisines
  • Experiment with herbs and spices, this is a great way to add flavour to your meals.
  • Check out farmers markets for different fruits and vegetables, you can also ask how they recommend cooking them to get some different ideas!

4. Gut health

The importance of gut health has been a big topic of discussion over the last few years. With studies highlighting the importance of gut health for overall health,  the imbalance of the gut microbiome (microorganisms found in the gut) has been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes [2].

The aim is to have a large diversity of microbes in our gut and one factor that influences this, is food. Including a large variety of food in your diet has been shown to increase diversity in the gut microbiome, helping it to function at its best capacity.

Including colourful vegetables, nuts, seeds and spices in your diet will help improve your diversity and in turn benefit your health.

For more articles like this sign up to the Low Carb Program today and take part in our Summer Retreat this June.

References

[1] Vadiveloo, M., Parkeh, N. & Mattei, J. (2015). Greater Healthful Food Variety as Measured by the US Healthy Food Diversity Index Is Associated with Lower Odds of Metabolic Syndrome and its Components in US Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 145(3), 564-571. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.199125

[2] Bull. M.J and Plummer. N.T (2014) Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 13(6): 17–22