The one eating principle you need to apply to your every meal, every day. Variety.
“Choose a variety of healthy foods.” is something we hear too often from our health professionals, but this may sound too vague of a concept for most people to grasp the importance of. Yet, in our world, where dietary advices are countless but sadly not always accurate, this recommendation is above all the one we should be paying more attention to. Why is it vital to eat from a variety of foods? For many reasons :
- Avoid Nutrient Imbalances
Unfortunately, not one single food contains all the essential nutrients our body needs and even within a specific food group, like vegetables and fruits, different ones offers different nutrients. For example, most citrus fruits are high in vitamin C while most cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamin K and folate.
- Avoid Excess of Toxins
Just like every food has its unique nutrients, each also has its unique toxicities, most of which are naturally present and others that are added (through pesticides for example). The human body is made to deal with a certain degree of toxins and overtime, it will naturally get rid of those toxins. The risk when eating too much of a specific food is that you might end up overwhelming your body with whatever toxins are in that food which can then cause a buildup and result in health problems.
- Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria
The human gut houses one of the most complex and abundant ecosystems and is often referred to as the microbiome. It is composed of about 100 trillion bacteria and other organisms that play an extremely important role in many of our bodily function such as our immune system, hormone system and of course, our digestion. The thing is that different species of bacteria eat different things and a variety of bacteria living in our gut is required to fully enjoy the health benefits. Therefore, eating a variety of foods ensures a more balanced microbiome.
- Enjoy the Food You Eat Everyday
Eating a variety of food is the key to avoid being bored with our diet. Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. Most people eat three meals a day, so clearly our diet occupies a huge place in our lives, and we ought to make the best of it.