Weekly Challenge More Variety in Veggies

I was reading a very interesting study this week that has inspired our next challenge. The first results of the largest study to have ever investigated the human microbiome are in. They have important implications for our dietary practices, resistance to antibiotics, and our mental health.

In 2012, Rob Knight, Ph.D., from the University of California, and Jeff Leach, Ph.D., the founder of the Human Food Project, and Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., who is the faculty director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago in Illinois, set out to found the American Gut Project.

To this end, they used so-called citizen science — the practice in which the public contributes to research by offering their time and personal data up for analysis.
The first results of the project are now available, and they offer clues as to what keeps our guts healthy and bacterially diverse. The findings were published in the journal mSystems.
Citizen scientists help study the microbiome
As part of the project, participants paid $99 for a kit that collected fecal, oral, and skin samples of bacteria.
They also had to answer a survey inquiring about their overall health and any illnesses they might have had, their lifestyle, and dietary practices.
In 2015, the project counted 15,096 samples provided by 11,336 people across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and 42 other countries.
Among the findings of this widespread investigation are:
 1. The wider the range of plants that we eat, the more diverse our gut bacteria will be. 
2. There seems to be a strong correlation with mental health challenges (PTSD, depression, bipolar etc.) and poor microbiome health.
3. The greatest microbiome diversity was among those that consumed 30 different types of plant each week. 
4. The participants who reported eating more than 30 types of plant per week seemed to have a lower resistance to antibiotics.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty lazy about eating the same vegetables most of the time (onions, spinach, kale, chard, green beans, carrots) And so I hesitate to challenge you to eat 30 DIFFERENT vegetables this week. The thought of that is just mind boggling to me.

But I will challenge you to eat as many different vegetables this week as you can!  I would love you to let me know how many you are able to consume. And to earn the daily bonus points you must eat at least one new vegetable each day that is not on your list of your usual vegetables- so you need to eat at least 7 new ones this week.

Good luck ladies! 

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