30 Plant Foods a Week Challenge

It is time to increase plant foods in your diet each day because your gut loves them.  Today we will learn how to increase fruits, veggies, herbs, legumes, seeds/nuts, and whole grain plants to give your gut something to love. Take the 30 plant foods a week challenge.

Fiber- a Gut-Loving Party

It will be like you are hosting a gut-loving party if you get into the habit of 30 or more plant foods a week.   Let me explain. 

Our Gut Microbiota thrives on fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics to be in healthy working order. The microbiota that lives in your gut needs the right kind of gut-loving bacteria and fiber that rule the body. This all aids digestion and helps our whole body become happy for each organ to function at its best. 

With research, they are linking the gut to the brain, inflammation, and the immune system.  Many diseases may all be related to the gut microbiota and the foods, lack of fiber, and toxins we put into our bodies.  Research articles are revealing a big relationship between the gut and diabetes, diseases, depression, and more.   We are all learning more every day.  Check out the latest research and books on this.   Link on more info.

The takeaway is to feed the gut fiber in plant foods- what it wants, not always what we want.

We need a variety of nutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber in our gut which we can get from Plant foods.  

30 plant foods a week challenge

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotics are like fertilizer that propels the probiotic to do its job. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help in the digestion of the bacteria and fiber in our gut. 

Prebiotics come from undigested fibers that we have not heard much about. To name a few…  Chicory root, inulin, oligosaccharides, and Jerusalem artichokes, come from foods we eat. It’s a must that we eat a variety of foods in a week.  We can also find prebiotic supplements.

Probiotics are naturally in the gut and come from fermented foods, like sour krout, miso, kefir, sourdough bread, and yogurt. Our guts once again love this stuff.   (Fermented- it’s old school when they didn’t have a refrigerator for fresh.)


30 Plant Foods a Week

Each plant food will provide- fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.  It is a must to eat a variety of foods each day.  Plant foods again include- Fruit, veggies, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

Variety gives you what your body needs.   30 equals 30 different plant foods in a week – minimum.  If you eat a banana every day.  You can only count it once.  That’s a good habit but it only counts once for variety in this challenge. 

When I say 30 plant foods, you may shutter- what? That’s a lot!  It’s easier than you think if you think of plant foods.   One day I sat down and wrote down the plant foods I had eaten from Sunday to Tuesday It totaled 30 – and that was without trying on my part.   The key was foods with many plants in them and counting the herbs I have in tea and food if it is substantial. 

My 30 Plant Foods in 3 Days   

1. Raspberries 2. Pineapple 3. Blackberries 4. Spinach 5. Carrots 6. Tomatoes 7. Radishes 8. Cucumbers 9. Onions 10. Garlic 11. Pistachios 12. Brazil nuts 13. Walnuts 14. Pomegranate 15. Broccoli 16. mushrooms 17. Mint 18. Sage leaves 19. Tulsi/holy basil 20. Cranberries 21. Orange 22. Cinnamon 23. Cloves 24. Potatoes 25. Chamomile 26. Kiwi 27. Lettuce 28. Black beans 29. Oatmeal 30. Kidney beans

My week continued and I did not continue counting.  My 30 mainly came from fruits, veggies nuts/seeds, and herbs since we are fresh herb tea drinkers.  We cook our food so we have many ways to add foods our body loves. Making a fruit and veggie smoothie also helped increase the plant foods.

Plant foods

My Next Plant Food Challenge

This time I had 71 plant foods in 1 week. 

  • Saturday- pear, coffee, onion, garlic, Brazil nuts, walnuts, squash, apple, celery, carrot, turmeric, coconut milk, fermented pepper sauce, sunflower seeds, cocoa nibs, prunes, dates, figs, oatmeal, hemp seed, chia seeds, pomegranate, raspberries, blueberries, stinging nettles, green tea, tomatoes, refried beans, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, Beans, Avocado
  • Sun- green pepper, Arugula, Spinach, orange, mint, lemon balm, Banana, spirulina powder, Beet powder, flax seeds, popcorn, pineapple, elderberry
  • Mon- Green chillis, pumpkin, cinnamon, cardamom, oregano, rosemary, Brussel sprouts, white beans,
  • Tues- cranberries, cloves, maple syrup, cocoa, olive oil, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms
  • Wed- grapefruit, pistachio, radish
  • Thur and Fri- potatoes, seaweed, green beans, cucumber, Tulsi, Rooibos

As you notice my numbers decreased throughout the week.  Only because I could not count some of these foods more than once.   You get the point. If you think, something should not count- it’s okay because I had 70, not 30.    

Aim for 30 Plant Foods or More Per Week.

Here are the rules to increase the plant food in your diet. If you aim for 30 this will give you more variety in your diet and your gut will love the fiber and nutrients.  Variety is what our body loves.  

At the end of each day for a week write down the plant foods you ate.  If you eat bananas 5x/week that is great.  But you can only count it once.   It’s just to get variety.    Fruits, veggies, herbs, coffee, tea, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains count.   It’s all in the fiber.  

Ready set start counting and see if you notice your body is happier.  

Ways to Increase Plant Foods

  • Try some new plant-based food recipes.  Nut and Seed Bar Recipe link.
  • Eat a meatless meal with plant proteins instead. Like lentils or beans.   Lentil soup recipe.
  • Have veggies for snacks with hummus or guac and you have a few plants. 
  • Make a veggie/fruit smoothie to include more variety in your diet.  (yes you can add avocado, parsley, cucumber, and more to your smoothies)
  • Drink tea with good herbs and they can count
  • Have side dishes, like quinoa, wild rice, and barley. Those are great plant foods your gut loves.
  • If some of the veggies are gassy for you, cook your cruciferous veggies to help prevent the gassiness.   Only eat them raw occasionally or 50% of the time. (or try a digestive enzyme)
  • Eat nuts for a snack and or add them to salads.  
  • Look for recipes that have a variety of plant foods in them.
  • Make nut and seed bars for added plant foods for a snack. Recipe link.

Blogs with recipes that may provide you with plant foods.

Take the 30 plant foods a week challenge and make it a habit.  Eating more plant foods may make you feel better and improve your health.   Let me know how you are doing with this.

Other nutrition articles on probiotics and prebiotics you may be interested in.