Plant Points: What can you add to your plate?

09 Oct 2023

Counting plant points is a fun way to encourage dietary diversity, beyond the familiar '5-a-day'. It invites you to savour a colourful array of 30 diverse plants weekly. Here are some tips to get you started...

In a nutshell

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How does it work?

A quick glance at plant points is an easy way to check the diversity of your meal. Here’s how to count:

  • Simple math: Each type of plant contributes one plant point.
  • Bonus points: Herbs, spices, garlic, tea and coffee also add ¼ point each.
  • Focus on variety: Points are based on variety, not quantity. It’s not about piling up one kind of veggie but about mixing up what we eat. So, two servings of the same plant add 1 point, while two different varieties add 2 points. For example, 2 red apples = 1 point. But, 1 red apple + 1 green apple = 2 points.

What are the benefits?

The more diverse your diet, the more diverse your microbiome and the more adaptable it will be to perturbations. A greater dietary diversity is linked to health benefits, including protective effects against cognitive decline and type 2 diabetes.

Aim for 30 plant points a week: Based on results published by the American Gut Project, it’s suggested that eating over 30 different plants each week promotes a more diverse gut microbiome with more beneficial short-chain fatty acids.

Plant Points in Practice

4 ways to diversify your diet
  1. Add seeds: Sprinkle mixed seeds on top of yoghurt, cereals and soup.
  2. Sneaky greens: Fold spinach, chard or baby kale into sauces, soups and stews.
  3. Mix it up:  Switch between different varieties of the same vegetable or fruit. For example, eat a red apple instead of a green one, try purple sprouting broccoli with your dinner instead of green.
  4. Kitchen allies: Rely on convenient options like mixed nuts or canned mixed beans.

3 examples to get you started

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