what are plant points?

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‘Plant points’ is a bit like the concept of ‘5 fruit & veg a day’. The aim is to eat 30 different plant points a week. Vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts & seeds are worth 1 point.  Herbs, spices, teas & coffee are worth a ¼ point.

Plant points encourage variety. For example, if you have an apple & a cup of mint tea every day that’s 1 ¼ points for the week, if you had a different piece of fruit every morning, mint tea on weekdays & coffee at the weekend that would be 7 ½ points.

The plant points concept is a result of 'The American Microbiome Gut Project', which concluded that those who ate 30+ different plants each week had a more ‘diverse gut microbiome’ than those who ate 10 or less.

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we asked our resident nutritionist Dr Emma what a 'gut microbiome' is and why 'diversity' is important?

‘’Your ‘gut microbiome’ is the collection of micro-organisms that live in your gut - these include fungi, viruses & bacteria.
Gut bacteria have different & specific roles that are important to human health. A diverse gut microbiome is one that is full of many different micro-organisms.

The more diverse your gut microbiome, the more your body will benefit from the different functions of the gut bacteria.
Research shows that gut bacteria can:
- support the immune system
- maintain a robust gut wall [which regulates what crosses into the blood & rest of the body]
- regulate brain activity [through the production of neurotransmitters]

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The ‘American Microbiome Gut Project’ study found that people who ate 30+ plant points a week had more bacteria in their guts that produce short chain fatty acids [SCFAs]. SCFAs have benefits locally to your intestine. They also enter your bloodstream & travel around the body having positive impacts on the glucose metabolism, the nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system & more.
In short, the food you eat influences your gut microbiome, its diversity, and ultimately your bodily processes, which means you can influence your overall health through your diet.‘‘

Plant points encourage you to eat a diverse range of plant foods, and ultimately a more healthful diet.  To help you get to 30 plant points a week we’ve highlighted the number of points in our restaurant dishes.