When it comes to its healthiness, many people are divided. Some argue that it's too high in sugar, while others champion its high nutrient content.
This article reviews the 9 healthiest juices and discusses whether juice is a healthy choice in general.
Tart and bright red, cranberry juice offers many benefits.
- Calories: 116
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 31 grams
- Fiber: 0.25 grams
- Sugar: 31 grams
- Potassium: 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 11% of the DV
Cranberry juice is known for its ability to protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs). Though research on this effect has been mixed, a recent review found that drinking cranberry juice lowered the risk of getting a UTI by 32.5% (2Trusted Source).
This juice is also high in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonols, procyanidins, and vitamins C and E, which may help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals (3Trusted Source, 4).
Cranberry juice is high in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. It may also help prevent UTIs, though research on this effect is mixed.
Tomato juice is not only a key ingredient in Bloody Marys but also enjoyed on its own as a delicious and healthy drink.
While many people consider the tomato to be a vegetable due to its culinary uses, it's biologically a fruit. Still, many companies classify tomato juice as a vegetable juice due to its flavor and low sugar content.
One cup (240 ml) of tomato juice provides (5):
- Calories: 41
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Folate: 12% of the DV
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 189% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
It's also a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid and antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. In fact, 80% of dietary lycopene is reported to come from tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce (9Trusted Source).
Lycopene may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, one review linked increased intake of lycopene to a 13% lower risk of heart disease (10Trusted Source).
However, tomato juice can be very high in salt, a mineral that can increase blood pressure when consumed in excess. Considering that most people consume too much salt, try to select low-sodium options when possible (11Trusted Source).
Tomato juice is very high in lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and may lower your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, 1 cup (250 ml) provides almost twice your daily vitamin C needs. Choose low-sodium tomato juice whenever possible.
Beet juice has gained popularity in recent years due to its associated health benefits.
This colorful juice is made by blending beets and water.
One cup (240 ml) of beet juice provides (12):
- Calories: 70
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 18 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 13 grams
It's relatively low in sugar, as most vegetables are naturally lower in sugar than fruits (13Trusted Source).
What's more, beets are a great source of betalains, which are pigments that give the vegetable its deep-red color. They act as potent antioxidants, potentially lowering your risk of heart disease, inflammation, and certain types of cancer (14Trusted Source, 15).
Beet juice is also high in inorganic nitrates, which have been shown to increase athletic performance and decrease blood pressure and heart disease risk (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Still, keep in mind that the inorganic nitrate content of beet juice depends on the variety and growing conditions of the vegetable, as well as the processing method (17Trusted Source).
Beet juice is rich in dietary nitrates and betalains, both of which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, it's much lower in sugar than other juices.
There are two main types — cloudy and clear. Cloudy apple juice contains pulp, while clear apple juice has had the pulp removed (20).
A 1-cup (240-ml) serving of apple juice provides (21):
- Calories: 114
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 28 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Sugar: 24 grams
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 3% of the DV
Although it's naturally low in vitamin C, many commercial varieties are enriched with vitamin C, providing up to 106% of the DV per cup (240 ml) (25).
Apple juice comes in both clear and cloudy varieties. Though both contain antioxidants, cloudy juice provides up to 2–5 times more. Most apple juices are enriched with vitamin C, furthering its antioxidant content.
Prunes are dried plums. They're often enjoyed as a snack, but prune juice is another popular option.
One cup (240 ml) of prune juice provides (29):
- Calories: 182
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Carbs: 45 grams
- Fiber: 2.5 grams
- Sugar: 42 grams
- Iron: 17% of the DV
- Magnesium: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin B2: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B3: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
Furthermore, it's widely used as a remedy for constipation, especially in older populations. Its fiber content appears to help soften stool and acts as a mild laxative (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).
It's also a good source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and phenolic compounds (34Trusted Source).
Though prune juice is a natural source of sugar, it's best to limit your intake to a small glass per day or dilute it with water.
Prune juice provides a rich source of iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It's commonly used as a remedy for constipation due to its stool-softening effect.
Pomegranate juice has gained popularity in recent years due to its nutritional benefits. Plus, it adds a vibrant splash of color to your day.
- Calories: 134
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 33 grams
- Fiber: 0.25 grams
- Sugar: 32 grams
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: less than 1% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 22% of the DV
It's also high in the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives pomegranates their characteristic dark-red color (37Trusted Source).
Pomegranate juice is rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that give pomegranates their rich, dark-red color. The juice is also high in vitamin K, which is important for heart and bone health.
7. Acai Berry
Acai berries are small, circular berries that come from the acai palm tree.
Their delicious juice has an enticing, deep-purple color.
A single cup (240 ml) of acai berry juice provides (39):
- Calories: 91
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 9 grams
Given that it has only gained popularity recently, nutritional data for this juice is limited. Still, the fruit's antioxidant content has been widely studied.
Acai juice is rich in various antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid. A diet rich in these compounds has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and mental decline (40, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
In fact, acai berries contain significantly more antioxidants than blueberries, which are well known for their disease-fighting compounds (43Trusted Source).
Finally, a study in 14 participants with osteoarthritis found that drinking an acai-based fruit juice for 12 weeks significantly lowered perceived pain. However, larger studies are needed to better understand this relationship (44Trusted Source).
Acai juice is rich in potent antioxidants, such as flavonoids, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid. A diet high in these compounds has been linked to a lower risk of chronic disease.
Orange juice is a classic breakfast staple around the world and well known for its nutritional properties.
A single cup (240 ml) of orange juice provides (45):
- Calories: 112
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 26 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Sugar: 21 grams
- Folate: 19% of the DV
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 138% of the DV
It's also high in phenolic compounds, such as cinnamic, ferulic, and chlorogenic acids. These antioxidant compounds help fight free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease (46).
A study in 30 people found that drinking orange juice after a high-fat, carb-rich meal led to significantly lower inflammation levels, compared with drinking water or glucose-water. The researchers attributed this to the antioxidants in orange juice (47Trusted Source).
You can purchase orange juice with or without the pulp. The pulp adds a bit of fiber, though not a significant amount.
Plus, many orange juice varieties have added calcium to support bone health.
Orange juice is naturally high in vitamin C and other antioxidants. In one study, drinking orange juice after a high-fat, carb-rich meal reduced inflammation.
Grapefruit juice is a tart drink that many people enjoy.
One cup (240 ml) of grapefruit juice provides (48):
- Calories: 95
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Carbs: 19 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Sugar: 20 grams
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 96% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
This is due to compounds in grapefruit known as furanocoumarins, which interact with your liver's ability to process medications. Therefore, it's crucial to speak with a healthcare professional before eating grapefruit and its derivatives (52Trusted Source).
Grapefruit juice is rich in antioxidants, such as naringin and vitamin C. However, grapefruit and its products interact with numerous medications. Consult a healthcare professional if you're taking any medications that may interact with grapefruit.
Potential Downsides to Juice
Though juice contains many important nutrients, there are some downsides to drinking it.
Low in Fiber
Unlike whole fruit, fruit juice is low in fiber. During processing, the juices are extracted from the fruit, and the remaining flesh and fiber are discarded.
Fiber helps manage your blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Without fiber, sugar can easily enter your blood and lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin (53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source).
High in Sugar
Both whole fruit and fruit juices are high in sugar, but they differ in the type of sugar they contain.
The sugar in whole fruits is intrinsic sugar that exists within the cellular structure of a fruit or vegetable. These sugars aren't absorbed as quickly as free sugars (55Trusted Source).
Free sugars are simple sugars that have either been added to food or exist naturally in some foods and beverages, including fruit juices and honey. Unlike intrinsic sugars, they're absorbed quickly, as they're not bound within a cell (55Trusted Source).
A diet high in free sugars — especially sugar-sweetened beverages — is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source).
However, most free sugars in the diet come from sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and energy drinks. In fact, a 2017 study found that fruit juice only accounts for an average of 2.9% of total sugar intake (55Trusted Source).
Unlike other sugar-sweetened beverages, 100% fruit juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Therefore, many experts argue that it's a much better alternative (59Trusted Source).
Nonetheless, focus on getting your daily nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables, which often boast high fiber contents. Aim to not drink more than 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) of juice per day (59Trusted Source).
Finally, if you decide to drink juice, try to purchase 100% real fruit juice. Many people mistake fruit cocktails or fruit beverages as real juice. Yet, these drinks usually contain added sugar, colorings, and flavors.
Unlike whole fruits and veggies, fruit juice is a poor source of fiber and can spike blood sugar levels. While juice can be a great source of nutrition, limit your intake to 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) per day, and try to opt for whole fruits and vegetables more often.
The Bottom Line
Juice can be an excellent source of nutrients, especially antioxidants.
While there is controversy surrounding the sugar content of juice, it's a much healthier option than other sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda or energy drinks.
Try to limit your intake to 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) per day, and opt for whole fruits and vegetables instead whenever possible.
If you're looking for a quick, convenient source of nutrients, juice can be a part of a healthy diet — as long as you enjoy it in moderation.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
World Environment Day: A Time to Consider the Planet We’ll Return To, and Decide How to Care for It Going Forward
It's a different kind of World Environment Day this year. In prior years, it might have been enough to plant a tree, spend some extra time in the garden, or teach kids the importance of recycling. This year we have heavier tasks at hand. It's been months since we've been able to spend sufficient time outside, and as we lustfully watch the beauty of a new spring through our kitchen's glass windows, we have to decide how we'll interact with the natural world on our release, and how we can prevent, or be equipped to handle, future threats against our wellbeing.
Scuba divers around the world are holding their metaphorical breath to see if a coronavirus infection affects the ability to dive.
DAN medical experts explained the difference between normal lungs, on the left, and "very serious lungs caused by COVID-19," on the right. Matias Nochetto / Divers Alert Network (DAN)
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President Trump's claim that the U.S. has the cleanest air and water in the world has been widely refuted by statistics showing harmful levels of pollution. Now, a new biannual ranking released by researchers at Yale and Columbia finds that the U.S. is nowhere near the top in environmental performance, according to The Guardian.
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New Jersey has invested in the future health of the planet by making sure the next generation of adults knows how human activity has had a deleterious effect on the planet. The state will be the first in the nation to make the climate crisis as part of its curriculum for all students, from kindergarten all the way to 12th grade, as NorthJersey.com reported.
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By Lindsey Schneider, Joshua Sbicca and Stephanie Malin
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is novel, but pandemic threats to indigenous peoples are anything but new. Diseases like measles, smallpox and the Spanish flu have decimated Native American communities ever since the arrival of the first European colonizers.
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History Reverberates on Native Lands<p>Native communities in North America have been disrupted and displaced for centuries. Many face long-standing food and water <a href="http://www.nativepartnership.org/site/DocServer/2017-PWNA-NPRA-Food-Insecurity-Project-Grow.pdf?docID=7106" target="_blank">inequities</a> that are further complicated by this pandemic.</p><p>On the Navajo reservation, which covers more than 27,000 square miles in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, 76% of households already <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235390130_High_levels_of_household_food_insecurity_on_the_Navajo_Nation" target="_blank">have trouble affording enough healthy food</a>, and the nearest grocery store is often hours away. COVID-related restrictions have further curtailed access to food supplies.</p><p>Clean water for basic sanitary measures like hand-washing is also scarce. Native Americans are <a href="http://uswateralliance.org/sites/uswateralliance.org/files/Closing%20the%20Water%20Access%20Gap%20in%20the%20United%20States_DIGITAL.pdf" target="_blank">19 times more likely</a> to lack indoor plumbing than whites in the U.S. Nearly one-third of Navajo households <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/coronavirus-hits-indian-country-hard-exposing-infrastructure-disparities-n1186976" target="_blank">lack access to running water</a>.</p><p>Many <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htm" target="_blank">health issues</a> that can increase COVID-19 mortality rates occur at high levels among Native Americans. These <a href="http://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2020/03/18/the-national-congress-of-american-indians-calls-for-more-attention-to-covid-19-impacts-to-indian-country" target="_blank">underlying</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30893-X" target="_blank">preexisting</a> conditions – things like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease – are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6913e2.htm" target="_blank">linked to diet</a> and stem from <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank">disruption and replacement</a> of Indigenous food systems.</p>
High Exposure Rates<p>These factors have clear health impacts. On the Navajo reservation, for instance, through May 27, 2020, <a href="https://www.navajo-nsn.gov/News%20Releases/OPVP/2020/May/FOR%20IMMEDIATE%20RELEASE%20-%201620%20recoveries_102%20new%20cases%20of%20COVID-19_and%20one%20more%20death%20reported.pdf" target="_blank">4,944 people</a> out of a population of 173,000 had tested positive for COVID-19, and 159 had died.</p><p>This infection rate per capita exceeds those in hot spots such as <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2020/05/19/navajo-nation-has-most-coronavirus-infections-per-capita-in-us-beating-new-york-new-jersey/#11a4fac08b10" target="_blank">New York and New Jersey</a>. Importantly, however, it may also reflect a much <a href="https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/04/19/navajo-nation-has-higher/" target="_blank">more proactive approach to testing</a> on reservations than in many other jurisdictions.</p><p>The fact that elderly people are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 could worsen the pandemic's effects in Indian Country. Elders are the <a href="https://ais.washington.edu/research/publications/spirits-our-whaling-ancestors" target="_blank">keepers of traditional knowledge, tribal languages and culture</a> – legacies whose loss already threatens the persistence of indigenous communities.</p><p>Elders also play key roles in preserving traditional plant and medicine knowledge. In the absence of COVID-19 interventions from Western medicine, many elders have been called on to perform healing practices, which increases their exposure risk.</p>
Little Help From Federal and State Governments<p>Many tribal members rely on the federal government's <a href="https://www.ihs.gov/" target="_blank">Indian Health Service</a> for health care. But <a href="https://theconversation.com/tribal-leaders-face-great-need-and-dont-have-enough-resources-to-respond-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic-134372" target="_blank">lack of capacity</a> at the agency has hampered its response. Budget shortfalls, <a href="https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/report-grossly-inaccurate-data-used-to-divvy-up-relief-funds-for-tribes-9qkkHmeXj0uhRC42mXYqCA" target="_blank">inaccurate data</a>, the challenges of providing <a href="https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/coronavirus-risk-is-compounded-by-the-rural-DC-rMTUzzE6WDGee8jbENQ" target="_blank">rural health care</a> and ongoing personnel shortages in IHS clinics are compounded by staff being <a href="https://navajotimes.com/reznews/dikos-ntsaaigii-doodaa-nation-musters-defense-against-covid-19/" target="_blank">pulled away</a> to fight the virus in large cities.</p><p>And while many states have raised frustrations with the Trump administration's unwillingness to distribute protective supplies from the <a href="https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/4/3/21206170/us-emergency-stockpile-jared-kushner-almost-empty-coronavirus-medical-supplies-ventilators" target="_blank">dwindling national stockpile</a>, IHS and tribal health care authorities <a href="https://www.azpm.org/p/home-articles-news/2020/3/17/167874-bill-calls-for-more-tribal-community-access-to-federal-stockpile-of-medical-supplies/" target="_blank">never had access</a> to the stockpile at all.</p><p>Although the federal government has begun <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/05/22/hhs-announces-500-million-distribution-to-tribal-hospitals-clinics-and-urban-health-centers.html" target="_blank">distributing relief funds</a> to IHS agencies, there have been serious problems with the accompanying supplies. The Navajo Nation has received <a href="https://www.indianz.com/News/2020/05/22/propublica-former-trump-aide-provided-fa.asp" target="_blank">faulty masks</a>, and a Seattle Native health center asked for tests but <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/native-american-health-center-asked-covid-19-supplies-they-got-n1200246" target="_blank">received body bags instead</a>.</p><p>Meanwhile, federally imposed limits on tribal sovereignty have obstructed tribal governments' efforts to deal with the pandemic themselves. Federal and state governments are <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/makah-tribe-fights-coronavirus-with-self-reliance-and-extreme-isolation/" target="_blank">challenging tribes' jurisdictional authority</a> to <a href="https://www.azfamily.com/news/mayor-of-page-accused-of-racist-social-media-comment-toward-navajo-nation-president/article_e2e6efd6-8db4-11ea-a8a2-7f6976d702f6.html" target="_blank">close borders to tourists</a> who may carry the virus. South Dakota's governor has <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/14/sioux-coronavirus-roadblocks-south-dakota-governor" target="_blank">threatened legal action</a> against two tribes who set up checkpoints to monitor incoming traffic on their reservations.</p>
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Environmental Injustices on Native Land<p>Energy development and resource extraction have had <a href="https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/898-all-our-relations" target="_blank">disproportionate impacts</a> on tribes for many years. Today, many Native American leaders worry that ongoing energy production – <a href="https://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/covid-19-essential-workers-in-the-states.aspx" target="_blank">an "essential" activity under federal guidelines</a> will bring outsiders into close contact with reservation communities, worsening COVID risks.</p><p>The owners of the Keystone XL oil pipeline have announced that they intend to continue construction, which will bring an influx of workers along the proposed route through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana have filed for a <a href="https://www.narf.org/keystone-xl/" target="_blank">temporary restraining order</a>, and a key permit for the pipeline was <a href="https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/16/headlines/us_judge_revokes_crucial_permit_for_keystone_xl_pipeline" target="_blank">revoked in April 2020</a>, but work continues at the U.S.-Canada border.</p><p>Construction is accelerating on the <a href="https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/border-issues/2020/03/17/border-patrol-waives-laws-border-wall-construction-southern-arizona/5063618002/" target="_blank">southern border wall</a>, which bisects the <a href="http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/" target="_blank">Tohono O'odham reservation</a> in Arizona and Mexico. The Trump administration has <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/border-coronavirus-military-immigration/" target="_blank">increased patrols at the border</a>, despite the tribe's concern that the patrols' presence is <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/04/06/coronavirus-cbp-160-cases-covid-19-officers-agents/2958736001/" target="_blank">spreading coronavirus</a> on the reservation.</p><p>And in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a salmon fishing season that brings in thousands of temporary workers is <a href="https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/it-s-hard-when-you-love-something-xlS49l2N20KZjqumwfzZfQ" target="_blank">set to open in June</a> because the federal government has also deemed commercial fishing "<a href="https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf" target="_blank">essential critical infrastructure</a>." Many local Native villages depend on the fishery for income, but have nonetheless pleaded with state regulators to <a href="https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/urgent-calls-to-close-the-massive-bristol-bay-fishery-8lYsGkUeDUyCBW7FMwpSfA?fbclid=IwAR1710u4rQnriq_MgH2ueQxOFtfGiGiH8I2ZdJRCZS9f28Zl-JNkPLpnzZo" target="_blank">cancel the season</a>. The regional hospital has just four beds for possible COVID-19 patients.</p>
Bold Action in Native Communities<p>Native communities are taking decisive action to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They're imposing aggressive <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/us/coronavirus-navajo-nation.html" target="_blank">quarantine</a> measures like lockdowns, curfews and border closures. Communities are <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/18/covidcoronavirus-native-american-lummi-nation-trailblazing-steps" target="_blank">ramping up health care capacity</a> and elder support services, and banishing nontribal members who <a href="https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/oglala-sioux-council-banishes-non-member-with-covid-19-from-reservation/article_60b665c3-9d1b-5d48-a576-51774e4fb41a.html" target="_blank">violate travel restrictions</a>.</p><p>Other strategies include helping hunters <a href="https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/ammo-fuel-for-hunters-to-feed-others-Ki3zK6du-ky-UogoB9-aNQ" target="_blank">provide traditional foods</a> to their communities, <a href="https://ndncollective.org/indigenizing-and-decolonizing-community-care-in-response-to-covid-19/" target="_blank">mobilizing to support tribal health care workers</a>, and <a href="https://www.ehn.org/coronavirus-native-americans-2645923635.html" target="_blank">linking the pandemic and the climate crisis</a>. Looking ahead to a post-COVID future, we believe one priority should be attending to <a href="http://www.beacon.org/As-Long-as-Grass-Grows-P1445.aspx" target="_blank">front-line environmental justice struggles</a> that center tribes' sovereignty to act on their own behalf at all times, not just during national crises.</p>
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