Variety is more than the spice of life

It is interesting how often I have come across a list of “Top 10 most nutritional foods“. I have seen at least a dozen such lists. Certain foods show up repeatedly on such lists, such as blueberries, broccoli and garlic. Other foods might make just a single appearance, such as lemons (that was on such a list I saw last week, and I am pretty sure it was the first time I saw it on a top-10 nutrition list).

But picking just ten foods, while it has some appeal in making things simple and in helping us prioritize what we buy at the grocery store, would be a poor nutritional strategy. That’s because we need variety.

Surely you have heard how important it is not to invest all your money in one place – to “diversify”. That is why you might invest in stocks, in bonds, in Forex, in currency, in mutual funds of various types, in a house, etc.

Diversification is not just for money. And variety is not just the spice of life; it is much more.

It is a wise idea to make salads with many different ingredients, and to vary them from day to day. In other words, each time you go to the store, try to buy a few vegetables that you don’t usually buy. Different kinds of onions. New varieties of cabbage. Apple varieties you don’t buy every day.

Same with exercise. It is very tempting to go through the same movements every day, but a complete workout entails working every muscle in different ways.

What about the news you read or view? Getting it all from CNN? Reading only The Globe and Mail? Shake it up; get more than one world view if you really want to understand what’s going on. Every media outlet has its own editorial slant or bias. It can be comforting to get your news from media that share your own biases, it reinforces your views. But that won’t broaden your mind, it will only narrow it.

Think variety.

  • Education
  • Fashion
  • Activities
  • Social circle

If you live a varied life, you will keep growing in so many ways. You want your health, your mind, your wallet, your experience – everything – to keep growing. So get out of the rut and into something new.