Ancient Thali Diet: Gut Microbiota, Immunity, and Health.
Diet provides macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and phytochemicals (non-nutrient bioactive compounds). Emerging evidence suggests that above dietary components can directly impact the composition and metabolic activity of the mammalian gut microbiota and in turn, affect both physical and mental health. There is a growing recognition that rise in chronic disease burden in Western countries may due to progressive loss of beneficial bacteria and microbial diversity. This perspective explores the possibility of using Indian thali, an ancient approach to diet that provides both fiber and different phytochemicals by incorporating a variety of plant foods in different colors. This variety helps to restore diversity in the gut bacteria and may potentially prevent or reverse chronic disease, such as colon cancer or type 2 diabetes.