Bob Dorough may have once sang ‘Three Is A Magic Number’, but when it comes to keeping your gut healthy, you’ll wanna go a little higher.
Two experts from myota, leading gut health researcher Dr Thomas Gurry and top gut health dietitian Dr Caitlin Hall have revealed that 30 is the magic number when it comes to all things digestion.
According to the pros, following the 3x30 principle will supercharge the health and activity of your gut microbiome, which in turn will improve your digestion, boost your immune system, and reduce your risk of several chronic diseases – we love to see it.
But what is principle and how do we follow it? To break it down the 3x30 we’re talking about is: eat 30 plants per week, consume 30g fibre per day and move for 30 mins.
Let’s dive in.
By increasing the diversity in your diet, you’ll increase the variety of nutrients you’re getting from your food. What’s more, researchers at the American Gut Project found that people who ate more than 30 different plant foods each week had a healthier gut microbiome compared with those who ate 10 or fewer.
30 might sound like a big number, but ‘plants’ includes whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies. Just one bowl of muesli with fruit and nuts could contain 5 or more different plant types, and a bowl of mixed vegetable soup with seeded bread could add another 5.
30g is in fact the government’s recommended daily amount – but what’s the big deal? Prebiotic fibre slows down the movement of food through the digestive system, meaning that sugars are released gradually into the bloodstream and big glucose spikes (and the resulting energy slumps) are avoided.
Prebiotic fibre also fuels the activity of the good bacteria in your gut (your microbiome), maximising the production of short chain fatty acid (SCFA) molecules that support digestive health and help regulate your energy and hormone levels throughout the day.
It’s widely recommended that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This doesn’t have to be a gym session - brisk walking, yoga, dancing and even cleaning the house all count! Getting active stimulates the muscles in your digestive system, which helps move food through and prevents discomfort and bloating.
Research shows that exercise has protective effects on the gut, boosting SCFA production and reducing the risk of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).