We've all been told we need our five plus a day of fruits and vegetables, as well as carbs, proteins, and fats to keep us going. But new research shows this isn't enough to maintain a healthy gut.

According to the Daily Mail, leading gut health expert and nutritionist Dr Megan Rossi says we need to be eating for a healthy microbiota, the community of bacteria living in the gut.

Rossi says this can lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. If you're wondering about the state of your own tummy bacteria, Rossi has a quiz and tips to boost your overall health.

Add up your points as they pertain to your answers.


1. How often do you experience bloating or constipation?

· Less than once a month (0 points)

· 1–3 times a month (1 point)

· 1–2 times a week (2 points)

· 3 or more times a week (3 points)

2. Are you on regular medication (including contraceptives?)

· No (0 points)

· Yes (2 points)

3. Do health issues run in your family, such as high blood pressure or diabetes?

· No (0 points)

· Yes (2 points)


4. How many types of plant-based foods do you eat each week (legumes, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, wholegrains)?

· Fewer than 10 (3 points)

· 10–19 (2 points)

· 20–29 (1 point)

· 30 or more (0 points)

5. Describe your mindset during the average week

· Unhappy (2 points)

· Neutral (1 point)

· Happy (0 points)

6. How often do you have a cold or flu?

· Fewer than 3 times a year (0 points)

· Once every 2–4 months (1 point)

· At least once a month (2 points)

7. Do you avoid any foods because of an intolerance?

· No (0 points)

· Yes (2 points)

8. How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night?

· 5 hours or fewer (2 points)

· More than 5 hours and less than 7 (1 point)

· At least 7 hours (0 points)

9. How often does stress have a negative impact on you?

· Less than once a month (0 points)

· 1–3 times a month (1 point)

· Every week (2 points)

10. How often does exercising for at least 30 minutes make you short of breath?

· Less than once a week (2 points)

· 1–3 times a week (1 point)

· 3 or more times a week (0 points)

Your score:

If you scored a total of zero points or close to zero, your gut health is in top condition.

If your score is more than ten points, it's time to get your gut health back on track.

And if you're pushing 20 points, your gut health needs urgent work.

What's the key? Rossi says it lies in eating 30 or more foods from the different plant food groups per week to keep the gut bacteria in prime condition.

"That's not just fruits and vegetables, but anything that has been grown, such as seeds, spices, and wholegrains," she says.

Protein isn't as important for gut health, she says, but our diets should include foods from all six plant groups including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and wholegrains.

These foods help your gut bacteria to thrive and do their work. The key is to eat a range of different foods—don't limit your diet to the same old foods.