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The Daily Tonic: Mix Up Your Diet To Make The Greatest Impact

The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion.

What are you having for lunch today? Oh, the same thing you had for lunch yesterday? Trust me, we’ve all been there.

It can be so easy to fall into a repetitive routine of eating pretty much the same foods daily. Given all the noise in the nutrition space, eating “the right thing” is complicated enough. Once you find a meal that you like, that’s easy to prepare, and that seems healthy, it can easily become a staple that you end up having all the time. 

Before we move on, let’s make one thing clear: if you found a whole foods-based meal that you enjoy and has a solid serving protein with a balanced amount of carbs and fat to round it off, and you have that meal on a regular basis—that’s great! Even if you were to have that same meal over and over for the rest of your life, you’d already be in better shape than the vast majority of people. But if you want to do even better, food diversity matters and here is why. 

First reason—our foods are unfortunately not as nutrient-packed as they once were. Due to an agricultural system that has prioritized quantity over quality for decades, our produce is nowhere near as nutrient-dense as it once was. For this reason, we need a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get all the nutrients our bodies need. 

There are some superfoods like beef liver that can really pack a punch when it comes to nutrient diversity and density, but for most of us, getting adequate nutrients will require some serious variety in diet. 

Second reason—gut health. We have touched on gut health in the past, but to quickly summarize, gut health is incredibly important. The health of your gut microbiome can impact not just digestion, but immune function and brain health as well, making the gut an essential piece of your overall health. The key to a healthy gut is a diverse microbiome, which is best achieved with a diverse diet. 

Third reason—asthma and food allergies. Studies like this one have shown that food diversity in infancy lowers the risk of developing asthma and food allergies later in life. 

And lastly, inflammation and oxidative stress. Those two things that we should all be trying to avoid have been inversely associated with a diet that includes a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.  

The key takeaway? This one is pretty simple. For anyone looking to optimize their health, food diversity matters… a lot. Whole foods are good, but a variety of whole foods is better and as an educated Daily Tonic reader, better is probably what you are aiming for anyway.

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