The Fun Food Challenge What is it? It is a group online challenge via Facebook to see how many DIFFERENT plant foods you can include over the course of a week! Why? Research has shown that eating a wide range of plant-based foods gives rise to a greater diversity of bacteria in the gut microbiome. The fibre and phytochemicals in the plants feed the beneficial bacteria allowing them to proliferate and carry out many amazing functions. The American gut project showed that those who ate more than 30 different plant types per week had gut microbiomes that were more diverse than those who ate 10 or fewer types. The kind of diet they ate (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan etc) didn’t matter. As creatures of habit we tend to eat the same types of foods. This challenge is to encourage people to increase the variety of plants their diets, to try new foods and to rediscover foods we have got out of the habit of eating. Sound difficult? Let’s all help each other to increase our repertoire of plant-based foods and at the same time support our health! Why is a diverse Gut Microbiome so important? The trillions of good gut bacteria we have residing within us play a huge role in the functioning of many body systems and therefore our health. They help us digest food and manufacture some vitamins. They provide a barrier against foreign microorganisms and infections, reduce allergy and intolerance susceptibility and are important for detoxification including hormones. They impact mental health and weight control. Research in this area is relatively recent and new studies are coming out all the time. There is almost no system of our body that is not affected by the interplay between the gut bacteria and our body. When is it happening and how do I participate? The challenge week is set for Monday 27th April – Sunday 3rd May 2020. Anybody anywhere can take part, just email Lucy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the facebook log in. By Friday 24thApril you will receive all the information you need: an example menu plan, top tips and a tracker form to count your foods. You will be able to ask questions via the fb group and the idea is that participants share their ideas, recipes and different foods to pool the knowledge and increase our variety! How much does it cost? There is no cost but if you are able to, we ask for a small donation to Mimosa Matters Organisation: Log onto this link and select the DONATE button https://www.mimosamatters.org Waiver/Disclaimer Dietary changes, even beneficial, can lead to symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and changes in bowel movements. If you have any concerns, a specific medical condition, are pregnant/breastfeeding, or are taking prescription medication, please consult your doctor or Nutritional Therapy practitioner.