Go with your gut: scientist Tim Spector on why food is not just fuel

The scientist has spent years studying how gut health relates not just to nutrition, but to all aspects of our everyday wellbeing. He explains why it really is what’s inside that counts

Tim Spector’s kitchen fridge is swarming with life: kefir grains, sourdough mother, homemade kimchi and kombucha. Then there’s the vegetables: as varied and colourful as possible.

While many diets eschew certain food groups, Spector’s focuses on incorporating as much variety as possible: at least 30 different plants a week – including nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains, fruits and vegetables – on top of starchy staples such as potatoes or rice. The reason? He believes that diversity is crucial to warding off infections, combating age-related diseases and maintaining a healthy weight.

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