Fruits & Veggies for a Healthy Microbiome: 4 Summer Tips
Eating lots of fruits and veggies is associated with a host of health benefits, but most Americans find it hard to reach the recommended guidelines of 5 to 13 servings each day. Getting kids to eat enough veggies is even more of a challenge. (French fries don’t count—unless they are made from nutrient rich, colorful heirloom potatoes such as Purple Peruvians.) As a general rule, bright or dark-colored fruits and veggies are best as they contain the highest levels of powerhouse nutrients. (Colorful foods are good, sugar is bad, and fiber is good.) Here are 4 tips to help you get enough fruits and veggies in The Microbiome Diet.
1. Skip the added sugar
One guideline from the American Heart Association (AHA) is to limit daily sugar to 6 teaspoons (25 g) for women and 9 teaspoons (38 g) for men. The average American consumes 19.5 (82 g) teaspoons every day, meaning 66 pounds of added sugar each year. Many doctors, especially those who track diabetes, suggest even lower daily sugar. Constant spikes in your blood sugar, brought about by high glycemic-index foods, will set you up for diabetes and weight gain. Remember, even though fruit is a healthy, low glycemic-index food, you still do get sugar from fruit— so don’t be adding any extra!
2. Focus on fiber
The AHA also recommends at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Scientists now understand why fiber is so good—it’s largely about the ~40 trillion microorganisms that live inside us, called the microbiome. A healthy microbiome is important for many functions, including immune function and metabolic health. The fiber needed for a healthy microbiome is fermentable fiber, a.k.a. prebiotics. When you eat food that’s high in prebiotics, your microbiome produces molecules that help your system manage blood sugar spikes.
3. Keep a goal of 5-13 servings in mind
Five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables is equivalent to about 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups. Eating that many in a modern, busy lifestyle is easier said than done. Fortunately, while you should always strive to eat plenty of fresh, raw fruits and veggies, if you’re having a hard time getting enough, here’s a way to get 3 servings right away. It’s called BiomeBliss. This quick, tasty drink blend gives you 3 servings from blueberries, oats, and agave, but with most of the sugars (and calories) removed!
4. Organize your veggie plan around a triple budget
When it comes to getting enough fruits and veggies, keep in mind that you’re dealing with 3 budgets: your dollar budget, your time budget, and your calorie budget. As a source of daily fruits and veggies, BiomeBliss is easy on all three budgets. If you ate the amount of raw blueberries, oats, and agave that goes into every serving of BiomeBliss, it would be over 380 calories and around $6 or more; our “de-sugared” drink has only 60 calories and the price is less than $3. In addition, BiomeBliss reduces hunger, which can help you resist foods that threaten your calorie budget. But perhaps the biggest savings is in your time budget: just mix BiomeBliss with cold water, sparkling water, or your kids’ favorite healthy treat—that’s it! So easy.
Published: July 6, 2018