Blog post: August 9th, 2021

By: Jill Buesch, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Have you ever heard that eating the rainbow will help you find your pot of gold? What about the quote, “If you have your health, you have it all!” In this article we will consider your health as your pot of gold. The diversity of plants you consume should be on your mind every meal for optimizing your health. 

Did you know that the biggest predictor of your gut microbiome is the diversity of plants that are included in your diet. What exactly is your microbiome? Your microbiome is an expansive community of microorganisms that live inside us in harmony and serve a purpose. You’ve probably heard of good bacteria and bad bacteria. Well, the diversity of good bacteria in your gut can benefit anything from your mental state to your gut health.

In today’s society it is common to experience anxiety and depression. You also hear of a lot of people with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Interestingly, many of the individuals who have the above mentioned problems also have immune-mediated disorders like Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Research has now found that just by changing the way you eat you could prevent and even reverse your health conditions. 

According to a world renowned gastroenterologist, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz MD, MSCI, consuming fiber fueled plants are the key to a healthy life. Why fiber fueled foods? These are foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are food for healthy gut microbes and probiotics are microbes with beneficial qualities. When these foods are consumed they produce postbiotics which are all the health promoting compounds our bodies need to ward off disease.  

Dr. Bulsiewicz uses the acronym F GOALS as a simple way to think about plant diversity. Each one of these categories contain nutrient dense foods that have different health promoting compounds.  Dr. Bulsiewicz advises people to count the number of plant based foods they consume daily. His goal would be to try and include 30 different varieties of plants per week. He also advises to eat all the colors of the rainbow. Eating different colored plants is linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits.

Plant based diversity is so powerful that it should be our golden rule when eating. When you follow this golden rule it can be both healing and preventative. If you would like to learn more regarding this topic please check out Dr. Bulsiewicz’s book entitled, Fiber Fueled, The Plant Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome. This book contains detailed nutritional information specifically on fiber foods and how they can play a role in healing and prevention. It also contains plant based recipes, grocery lists and a 4 week eating plan.

At 21st Century Rehab, PC our slogan is: “Work Well. Play Well. Live Well.” Healthy eating is a foundation for all of these, and we do hope you “Eat Well” to fuel your body and mind!