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From mass media to mother-in-laws, everyone has a recommendation about WHAT we should be eating: Paleo/Ancestral, Mediterranean, Ketogenic, Vegetarian, etc. Many of these opinions seem to be conflicting.

However, along with staying well-hydrated, buying organic whenever possible, and decreasing or eliminating processed food, there is one solid piece of nutrition advice on which all experts agree: Eat vegetables, as much and as often as you can! Simply put: Eat veggies until they come out of your ears. The more varieties, colors, textures, and method of preparation the better.

Why? Vegetables are like magic – whole foods rich in all of the good stuff like phytonutrients, fiber, pre- and probiotics, and can be low in calories but high in taste. I promise! Veggies are the premier example of “nutrient-dense” foods, contain the building blocks for EVERYTHING, and are the foundation of the world’s healthiest diets. To quote a simple-but-right-on guideline from author Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Words to live by!

A homework assignment for you: the next time you are at your grocery store or Farmer’s Market, observe the rainbow of color options and various textures before you. Have you eaten an artichoke lately? Radishes? Raw baby bok choy as a snack (plain or dipped in something yummy) is my 2016 Plant Food of the Year. (My 2017 Plant Food of the Year was mung beans – seriously versatile and easy to digest – no FODMAPs!) Seek out new varieties of leafy greens, even better if they are locally grown. The more variety the better for fiber and micronutrient content for you and essential sustenance for your microbiome. Every bite you take feeds you AND the friendly microbes inside.

You can’t go wrong with veggie love.

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