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The 30 Plant Diet: What It Is and Why You Should Try It


You’ve probably heard of the 5-a-day rule, which advises you to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day for optimal health. But did you know that there is a new and improved way to boost your nutrition and your gut health? It’s called the 30 plant diet, and it’s all about eating a variety of plant foods from different groups every week. In this blog post, we’ll explain what the 30 plant diet is, why it’s beneficial for your health, and how you can easily incorporate it into your lifestyle.

What is the 30 plant diet?

The 30 plant diet is a simple and flexible way of eating that aims to increase the diversity of your plant intake. It’s not a strict or restrictive diet, but rather a guideline to help you eat more plants and feed your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your digestive system. These microbes play a vital role in many aspects of your health, such as digestion, immunity, metabolism, mood, and more.

The 30 plant diet is based on the idea that different plants contain different types of prebiotics, which are substances that nourish your gut microbes. Prebiotics include various types of fiber, starches, and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that give plants their colors and flavors. By eating a wide range of plants, you can provide your gut microbes with a diverse and balanced diet, which in turn can support their growth and function.

A more diverse and healthy gut microbiome has been linked to many benefits, such as:

  • Improved digestion and bowel health
  • Enhanced immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reduced inflammation and chronic diseases
  • Better blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Increased production of vitamins and hormones
  • Improved brain function and mental health
  • Longer and healthier lifespan

The 30 plant diet is inspired by the findings of the American Gut Project, a large-scale study that analyzed the gut microbiomes of over 10,000 people from different countries. The study found that people who ate more than 30 different plant foods per week had more diverse and healthy gut microbes than those who ate less than 10. The study also found that eating across six main plant groups, namely vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices, was associated with a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

How to follow the 30 plant diet?

Following the 30 plant diet is easier than you might think. You don’t have to count calories, measure portions, or eliminate any food groups. You just have to keep track of the number and variety of plant foods you eat every week. To make it more fun and convenient, you can use a plant point system, where each plant food counts as one point. For example, if you eat an apple, a banana, and a handful of almonds, that’s three plant points. Your goal is to reach at least 30 plant points per week, preferably from different plant groups.

To help you achieve this goal, here are some tips and tricks:

  • Start with what you already eat. Look at your current diet and see how many plant foods you consume on a regular basis. You might be surprised by how many you already eat. For example, if you have oatmeal with berries and nuts for breakfast, that’s four plant points right there. If you have a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chickpeas for lunch, that’s another four plant points. If you have a stir-fry with rice, broccoli, carrots, and tofu for dinner, that’s six plant points. And if you snack on some dark chocolate and dried fruits, that’s two more plant points. That’s a total of 16 plant points in one day, more than half of your weekly target.
  • Add more plants to your meals and snacks. Once you have a baseline of your plant intake, you can look for ways to increase it. You can do this by adding more plants to your existing meals and snacks, or by replacing some animal-based foods with plant-based ones. For example, you can add some spinach, mushrooms, and avocado to your omelet, or swap the cheese for hummus. You can add some beans, lentils, or quinoa to your soup, or swap the chicken for tempeh. You can add some roasted vegetables, nuts, and seeds to your pasta, or swap the cream for cashew sauce. You can add some fresh or dried fruits, coconut flakes, and cinnamon to your yogurt, or swap the milk for almond milk. The possibilities are endless, and you can experiment with different flavors and textures to suit your preferences.
  • Try new and different plants. Another way to increase your plant diversity is to try new and different plants that you haven’t eaten before, or haven’t eaten in a while. You can do this by exploring different cuisines, visiting farmers’ markets, or joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. You can also look for seasonal, local, and organic produce, which tend to have more nutrients and flavor than conventional ones. You can also grow your own plants, either in your garden or in pots, which can be a rewarding and fun hobby. Some examples of plants that you can try are:
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, okra, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, squash, turnips, watercress, zucchini
    • Fruits: apricots, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, grapefruit, kiwi, lychee, mango, nectarines, papaya, passion fruit, pears, persimmons, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, prunes, raisins, tangerines
    • Whole grains: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, teff, wild rice
    • Legumes: adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, edamame, fava beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soybeans, split peas, white beans
    • Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
    • Herbs and spices: basil, bay leaves, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill, ginger, mint, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, vanilla


Here are some frequently asked questions about the 30 plant diet:

  • Q: Do I have to eat 30 plants every day?
    • A: No, you don’t have to eat 30 plants every day. The 30 plant diet is a weekly goal, not a daily one. You can spread your plant intake throughout the week, depending on your schedule and preferences. Some days you might eat more plants, some days you might eat less. The important thing is to aim for at least 30 plants per week, and to vary them as much as possible.
  • Q: Do I have to eat only plants?
    • A: No, you don’t have to eat only plants. The 30 plant diet is not a vegan or vegetarian diet, although it can be compatible with them. You can still eat animal-based foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy, and fish, if you choose to. However, you might want to reduce your intake of these foods, and focus more on plants, as they tend to have more health benefits and less environmental impact. You can also choose high-quality animal-based foods, such as grass-fed, organic, and free-range ones, which tend to have more nutrients and less contaminants than conventional ones.
  • Q: Do I have to eat raw plants?
    • A: No, you don’t have to eat raw plants. The 30 plant diet does not specify how you should prepare your plants, as long as you eat them. You can eat them raw, cooked, or processed, depending on your taste and convenience. However, you might want to avoid overcooking or overprocessing your plants, as this can reduce their nutrient content and prebiotic potential. You can also choose gentle cooking methods, such as steaming, roasting, or sautéing, which can preserve or enhance the flavor and texture of your plants. You can also add some healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or butter, which can help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants in your plants.


The 30 plant diet is a simple and effective way to improve your nutrition and your gut health. By eating a variety of plant foods from different groups every week, you can nourish your gut microbes and support their function. This can lead to many benefits for your overall health, such as better digestion, immunity, metabolism, mood, and more. The 30 plant diet is also easy and flexible to follow, as you can adapt it to your preferences and lifestyle. You can start with what you already eat, add more plants to your meals

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