Vegan Gut Health 101: Fermented Foods and Probiotics
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By Michelle Kretzer
Want to get healthier this year? Almost half of Americans resolve to. But you don't have to drastically slash your calorie intake or take up residence at the gym to improve your health. Since we power our bodies through our digestive system, a healthy gut equals a healthy everything else.
The work of turning food into fuel is done by 40 trillion "good guy" gut bacteria. They determine when we feel hungry and how we store fat, communicate with our brain to regulate our moods and help ward off disease. So this year, instead of depriving your body, why not try loading up on foods that feed your digestive system's beneficial bacteria—and help them help you?
Probiotics are the powerhouse microorganisms in healthy digestive systems that make sure that nutrients from food get where they need to go and fight off bad bugs. Foods that are packed with them include apple cider vinegar; kombucha; yogurt made from almond, soy or rice milk; and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, kvass and fresh (not bottled) pickles. (And to see how the "bone broth" fad was debunked, click here.)
While probiotics help fuel us, prebiotics help fuel them. Probiotic bacteria flourish in the presence of foods containing prebiotics, such as garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory and mangoes.
According to the esteemed Food Revolution Network, "Approximately 97% of Americans get at least the recommended amount of protein. But only about 3% of Americans get the recommended 40 grams of fiber they need per day." Fiber lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and weight gain. You can find it in artichokes, green peas, lentils, almonds, raspberries, apples, oats, whole grains, avocadoes, jicama, flaxseed, chia seed, celery (or celery juice, if you prefer), and black, lima, and kidney beans.
Is there anything a green vegetable can't do? Reach for dandelion greens, broccoli, asparagus, seaweed, Brussels sprouts or kale for a blast of essential nutrients in just a handful of calories.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.