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Vegan Gut Health 101: Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Lucy Lambriex / DigitalVision / Getty Images
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.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.