Coming up with healthy snack ideas that fit a vegan diet can be challenging.
This is because the vegan diet includes only plant foods and excludes all animal products, limiting the selection of snack foods.
Luckily, countless combinations of plant foods can make up healthy and satisfying snacks—whether you eat fully vegan or are simply interested in reducing animal products in your diet.
Here are 24 healthy vegan snacks that are both tasty and nutritious.
1. Fruit and Nut Butter
Fruit and nut butter, made from blended nuts, is a delicious vegan snack with many nutritional benefits.
For the most nutritional benefits, make sure to select a nut butter without added sugar, oil or salt.
2. Guacamole and Crackers
Guacamole is a vegan dip usually made from avocado, onion, garlic and lime juice.
You can prepare your own guacamole or purchase a premade version without added salt or sugar. Choose 100% whole-grain crackers to pair with guacamole for a healthy vegan snack.
3. Edamame With Sea Salt
Edamame is the name for immature soybeans in their pod.
You can prepare edamame by boiling or steaming the pods or by thawing them in your microwave. Sprinkle the warm pods with a little sea salt or soy sauce before chewing on them gently to eat the beans inside.
4. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a plant-based snack that typically includes nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Some varieties also have chocolate, coconut, crackers or whole grains.
Depending on the ingredients, trail mix can be a good source of protein, healthy fats and fiber (8).
However, some varieties may not be vegan or may contain added sugar, salt and oil. To avoid these ingredients, you can easily make your own trail mix by combining your favorite plant-based ingredients.
5. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are spherical and slightly yellow legumes.
Roasted chickpeas are a delicious vegan snack. You can make your own by tossing canned chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings, spreading them on a baking sheet and baking them for 40 minutes or until crunchy at 450°F (230°C).
6. Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is made from fruit puree that has been thinly flattened, dried and sliced.
It has similar nutrients to the fresh fruit from which it is made and is usually high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, some packaged fruit leathers have added sugar or color and are not as nutritious as homemade varieties (10).
To make your own, puree fruits of your choice and mix with lemon juice and maple syrup if preferred. Spread the puree in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dry it in a dehydrator or in your oven at 140°F (60°C) for approximately six hours.
7. Rice Cakes and Avocado
Rice cakes are a snack food similar to crackers. They're made from puffed rice that has been packed together and shaped into circles.
Rice cakes topped with avocado is a balanced vegan snack with both healthy fats and fiber. You can sprinkle the rice cakes with toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch and flavor.
8. Hummus and Veggies
Hummus is a vegan dip made from chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, garlic and a sesame seed paste called tahini.
It is high in fiber, healthy fats, B vitamins and vitamin C. Homemade versions are generally more nutritious than commercially prepared hummus that may have added vegetable oils and preservatives (12, 13).
You can pair homemade or store-bought hummus with carrot, celery, cucumber, radishes and other raw vegetables for a healthy and crunchy vegan snack.
9. Fruit and Veggie Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent on-the-go snack for vegans.
Popular smoothie ingredients include fruits and veggies, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. You can easily make your own smoothie by blending plant-based milk or water with your favorite fruits and vegetables, including bananas, berries, spinach and kale.
10. Oatmeal With Fruit, Nuts or Seeds
Oatmeal is made by heating oats with liquid. It's commonly eaten as a breakfast food but can be enjoyed at any time of the day for a quick and healthy vegan snack.
It's high in fiber, iron, magnesium and several other vitamins and minerals. Cooking oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk and adding sliced fruit and nuts or seeds can boost the nutrient content (16).
The healthiest way to prepare oatmeal is to make your own or choose instant options without added sugars or salt.
11. Salsa and Homemade Tortilla Chips
Salsa is typically made from chopped tomatoes, onions, lime juice, salt and seasonings.
Salsa is commonly eaten with tortilla chips, but store-bought chips are often made with vegetable oil and excess salt. To make your own, simply slice a few tortillas, brush them with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
12. Popcorn With Nutritional Yeast
Popcorn is made by heating dried corn kernels. It can be prepared in an air popper, microwave or a kettle with oil on the stove.
When popcorn is made in an air popper, it can be a highly nutritious vegan snack. A two-cup serving (16 grams) has close to 10% of the DV for fiber at only 62 calories (19).
Adding nutritional yeast can boost the nutrition of popcorn even more. This flakey yellow yeast is a high-quality plant protein and usually fortified with zinc and B vitamins. It has a savory taste that some people compare to cheese (20).
13. Homemade Granola
There are many types of granola, but most contain oats, nuts or seeds, dried fruits, spices and a sweetener.
Many store-bought granolas are laden with added sugar and vegetable oil. On the other hand, homemade varieties can be a healthy vegan snack rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats (21).
To make your own granola, combine old-fashioned oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and cinnamon with melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Spread out the mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for 30–40 minutes at low heat in your oven.
14. Fruit and Nut Bars
Fruit and nut bars are an easy on-the-go snack that can be very nutritious.
Brands that have vegan bar options include LaraBars, GoMacro Bars and KIND Bars. A Cashew Cookie LaraBar (48 grams) has five grams of protein, 6% of the DV for potassium and 8% of the DV for iron (22).
You can also make your own fruit and nut bars by combining 1–2 cups (125–250 grams) of nuts, one cup (175 grams) of dried fruit and 1/4 cup (85 grams) of maple or brown rice syrup.
Spread this mixture in a greased 8-inch (20-cm) baking pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 325°F (165°C).
15. White Bean Dip and Homemade Pita Chips
White bean dip is typically made by blending white or cannellini beans with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs.
White beans have an impressive nutrient profile, packing approximately five grams of protein, over 10% of the DV for iron and four grams of fiber in just 1/4 cup (50 grams) (23).
Pairing pita chips with white bean dip makes for a healthy vegan snack. You can make homemade pita chips by slicing whole grain pitas, brushing them with olive oil and baking them for 10 minutes at 400°F (205°C).
16. Peanut Butter and Banana Bites
Peanut butter and banana is a popular and healthy snack combination.
To make peanut butter and banana bites, slice a banana into thin pieces and spread a layer of peanut butter in between two slices. These treats taste especially delicious when frozen for at least 30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in your freezer.
17. Dried Coconut and Dark Chocolate
For a healthy vegan snack that will also satisfy your sweet tooth, try eating dried coconut with a few squares of dark chocolate.
Dried coconut is made from dehydrated coconut flakes or pieces. Unsweetened varieties are incredibly nutritious, packing 18% of the DV for fiber in just one ounce (28 grams) (25).
As an added bonus, dark chocolate that is at least 65% cacao provides plant compounds and may have a number of health benefits. To make sure your dark chocolate is vegan, look for brands that do not contain any animal products (26).
18. Baked Veggie Chips
Baked veggie chips made from sliced vegetables, dehydrated or baked at low temperatures, are a delicious vegan snack.
Depending on the type of vegetable, baked veggie chips provide a variety of nutrients. For example, dehydrated carrots are loaded with vitamin A while baked beet chips are rich in potassium and folate (27, 28).
You can make your own vegetable chips by baking thinly sliced veggies at 200–250°F (90–120°C) for 30–60 minutes.
19. Spiced Nuts
All nuts are an incredibly nutritious vegan snack option. For example, just one ounce (23 grams) of almonds has six grams of protein, over 12% of the DV for fiber and several vitamins and minerals (29).
Nuts are especially delicious when coated in spices. You can buy spiced nuts at most grocery stores. To make homemade spiced nuts, toss your preferred variety in olive oil and seasonings before baking the mix for 15–20 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
20. Seaweed Crisps
Seaweed crisps are made from sheets of seaweed that have been baked, sliced into squares and seasoned with salt.
They're a vegan, low-calorie snack loaded with folate (vitamin B9), fiber and vitamins A and C. Seaweed is also an excellent source of iodine, a nutrient that naturally occurs in seawater and is vital to proper thyroid functioning (30, 31, 32).
When purchasing seaweed crisps, look for varieties with minimal ingredients, such as SeaSnax, which only contains seaweed, olive oil and salt.
21. No-Bake Energy Balls
Energy balls refer to bite-size snacks that are typically made from a mix of oats, nuts, seeds, nut butter, dried fruit, maple syrup and occasionally chocolate chips or other add-ins.
To make homemade energy balls, you can combine one cup (90 grams) of old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup (125 grams) of peanut butter, 1/3 cup (113 grams) maple syrup, two tablespoons of hemp seeds and two tablespoons of raisins.
Divide and roll the batter into balls and store in your refrigerator.
22. Ants on a Log
Ants on a log is the name of a popular snack made from celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter and raisins.
This vegan treat is rich in fiber from celery, healthy fats from peanut butter and vitamins and minerals from the raisins (33).
To make ants on a log, simply slice a few stalks of celery into pieces, add peanut butter and sprinkle with raisins.
23. Almond-Butter-Stuffed Dried Dates
Dates are chewy, brown fruits that grow on palm trees and have a sweet and nutty flavor.
They contain natural sugars and fiber that can give you a quick boost of energy. In fact, one date has approximately 18 grams of carbs (34).
For a healthy vegan snack, you can remove the pits of dates and stuff them with almond butter. However, keep in mind that they are high in calories, so remember to watch your portion size.
24. Frozen Grapes
Grapes are small spherical fruits that grow on vines and come in purple, red, green and black.
One cup (151 grams) of grapes has 28% of the DV for vitamin K and 27% of the DV for vitamin C. They are also rich in polyphenols, which are plant compounds that may protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes (35, 36).
Frozen grapes are a delicious vegan snack. For a refreshing treat, keep grapes in a container in your freezer and enjoy a handful when hunger strikes.
The Bottom Line
If you're following a vegan diet—or are trying to reduce the number of animal foods you're eating—it's a good idea to keep plant-based snacks on hand.
The vegan snacks above are a great way to combat hunger between meals.
They're easy to make and a nutritious option for vegans and those just looking to eat more plant foods.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alexander Richard Braczkowski, Christopher O'Bryan, Duan Biggs, and Raymond Jansen
A Cute But Threatened Species<p><a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-is-a-pangolin" target="_blank">Pangolins</a> are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales, which they use to protect themselves from predators. They can also curl up into a tight ball.</p><p>They eat mainly ants, termites and larvae which they pick up with their sticky tongue. They can grow up to 1m in length from nose to tail and are sometimes referred to as scaly anteaters.</p><p>But <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128155073000332" title="Chapter 33 - Conservation strategies and priority actions for pangolins" target="_blank">all eight</a> pangolin species are classified as "<a href="https://www.pangolins.org/tag/endangered-species/" target="_blank">threatened</a>" under International Union for Conservation of Nature <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=pangolin&searchType=species" target="_blank">criteria</a>.</p><p>There is an unprecedented demand for their scales, primarily from countries in Asia and <a href="https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12389" title="Assessing Africa‐Wide Pangolin Exploitation by Scaling Local Data" target="_blank">Africa</a> where they are used in food, cultural remedies and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/141072b0" title="Chinese Medicine and the Pangolin" target="_blank">medicine</a>.</p><p>Between 2017 and 2019, seizures of pangolin scales <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/02/pangolin-scale-trade-shipments-growing/" target="_blank">tripled in volume</a>. In 2019 alone, 97 tons of pangolin scales, equivalent to about 150,000 animals, were <a href="https://oxpeckers.org/2020/03/nigeria-steps-up-for-pangolins/" target="_blank">reportedly</a> intercepted leaving Africa.</p>
Reintroduction of an Extinct Species<p>Each year in South Africa the African Pangolin Working Group (<a href="https://africanpangolin.org/" target="_blank">APWG</a>) retrieves between 20 and 40 pangolins through intelligence operations with security forces.</p><p>These pangolins are often-traumatised and injured and are admitted to the <a href="http://www.johannesburgwildlifevet.com/our-hospital" target="_blank">Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital</a> for extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation before they can be considered for release.</p><p>In 2019, seven rescued Temminck's pangolins were reintroduced into South Africa's <a href="https://www.andbeyond.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/phinda-private-game-reserve/" target="_blank">Phinda Private Game Reserve</a> in the KwaZulu Natal Province.</p><p>Nine months on, five have survived. This reintroduction is a world first for a region that last saw a viable population of this species in the 1980s.</p><p>During the release, every individual pangolin followed a strict regime. They needed to become familiar with their new surroundings and be able to forage efficiently.</p>
A ‘Soft Release’ in to the Wild<p>The process on Phinda game reserve involved a more gentle ease into re-wilding a population in a region that had not seen pangolins for many decades.</p><p>The soft release had two phases:</p><ol><li>a pre-release observational period</li><li>an intensive monitoring period post release employing GPS satellite as well as VHF tracking tags.</li></ol>
Why Pangolin Reintroduction is Important<p>We know so little about this group of mammals that are vastly understudied and hold many secrets yet to be discovered by science but are on the verge of collapse.</p><p>The South African and Phinda story is one of hope for the Temminck's pangolin where they once again roam the savanna hills and plains of Zululand.</p><p>The process of relocating these trade animals back into the wild has taken many turns, failures and tribulations but, the recipe of the "soft release" is working.</p>
- 10 Facts About Pangolins on World Pangolin Day - EcoWatch ›
- Meet the 'Pangolin Men' Saving the World's Most Trafficked Mammal ... ›
By Jake Johnson
In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.
Why You Should Wash Fresh Produce<p>Global pandemic or not, properly washing fresh fruits and vegetables is a good habit to practice to minimize the ingestion of potentially harmful residues and germs.</p><p>Fresh produce is handled by numerous people before you purchase it from the grocery store or the farmers market. It's best to assume that not every hand that has touched fresh produce has been clean.</p><p>With all of the people constantly bustling through these environments, it's also safe to assume that much of the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fresh-vs-frozen-fruit-and-vegetables" target="_blank">fresh produce</a> you purchase has been coughed on, sneezed on, and breathed on as well.</p><p>Adequately washing fresh fruits and vegetables before you eat them can significantly reduce residues that may be left on them during their journey to your kitchen.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Washing fresh fruits and vegetables is a proven way to remove germs and unwanted residues from their surfaces before eating them.</p>
Best Produce Cleaning Methods<p>While rinsing fresh produce with water has long been the traditional method of preparing fruits and veggies before consumption, the current pandemic has many people wondering whether that's enough to really clean them.</p><p>Some people have advocated the use of soap, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/white-vinegar" target="_blank">vinegar</a>, lemon juice, or even commercial cleaners like bleach as an added measure.</p><p>However, health and food safety experts, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), strongly urge consumers not to take this advice and stick with plain water.</p><p>Using such substances may pose further health dangers, and they're unnecessary to remove the most harmful residues from produce. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/chlorine-poisoning" target="_blank">Ingesting commercial cleaning chemicals</a> like bleach can be lethal and should never be used to clean food.</p><p>Furthermore, substances like lemon juice, vinegar, and produce washes have not been shown to be any more effective at cleaning produce than plain water — and may even leave additional deposits on food.</p><p>While some research has suggested that using neutral electrolyzed water or a baking soda bath can be even more effective at removing certain substances, the consensus continues to be that cool tap water is sufficient in most cases.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The best way to wash fresh produce before eating it is with cool water. Using other substances is largely unnecessary. Plus they're often not as effective as water and gentle friction. Commercial cleaners should never be used on food.</p>
How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables With Water<p>Washing fresh fruits and vegetables in cool water before eating them is a good practice when it comes to health hygiene and food safety.</p><p>Note that fresh produce should not be washed until right before you're ready to eat it. Washing fruits and vegetables before storing them may create an environment in which bacterial growth is more likely.</p><p>Before you begin washing fresh produce, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-should-you-wash-your-hands" target="_blank">wash your hands well</a> with soap and water. Be sure that any utensils, sinks, and surfaces you're using to prepare your produce are also thoroughly cleaned first.</p><p>Begin by cutting away any bruised or visibly rotten areas of fresh produce. If you're handling a fruit or vegetable that'll be peeled, such as an orange, wash it before peeling it to prevent any surface bacteria from entering the flesh.</p><p>The general methods to wash produce are as follows:</p><ul><li><strong>Firm produce.</strong> Fruits with firmer skins like apples, lemons, and pears, as well as <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/root-vegetables" target="_blank">root vegetables</a> like potatoes, carrots, and turnips, can benefit from being brushed with a clean, soft bristle to better remove residues from their pores.</li><li><strong>Leafy greens.</strong> Spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, leeks, and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and bok choy should have their outermost layer removed, then be submerged in a bowl of cool water, swished, drained, and rinsed with fresh water.</li><li><strong>Delicate produce.</strong> Berries, mushrooms, and other types of produce that are more likely to fall apart can be cleaned with a steady stream of water and gentle friction using your fingers to remove grit.</li></ul><p>Once you have thoroughly rinsed your produce, dry it using a clean paper or cloth towel. More fragile produce can be laid out on the towel and gently patted or rolled around to dry them without damaging them.</p><p>Before consuming your fruits and veggies, follow the simple steps above to minimize the amount of germs and substances that may be on them.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Most fresh fruits and veggies can gently be scrubbed under cold running water (using a clean soft brush for those with firmer skins) and then dried. It can help to soak, drain, and rinse produce that has more dirt-trapping layers.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Practicing good food hygiene is an important health habit. Washing fresh produce helps minimize surface germs and residues that could make you sick.</p><p>Recent fears during the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/coronavirus" target="_blank">COVID-19 pandemic</a> have caused many people to wonder whether more aggressive washing methods, such as using soap or commercial cleaners on fresh produce, are better.</p><p>Health professionals agree that this isn't recommended or necessary — and could even be dangerous. Most fruits and vegetables can be sufficiently cleaned with cool water and light friction right before eating them.</p><p>Produce that has more layers and surface area can be more thoroughly washed by swishing it in a bowl of cool water to remove dirt particles.</p><p>Fresh fruits and vegetables offer a number of healthy nutrients and should continue to be eaten, as long as safe cleaning methods are practiced.</p>
- 30 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Everyday - EcoWatch ›
- Here's How to Clean Your Groceries During the COVID-19 Outbreak ... ›
- 5 Facts You Should Know About Pesticides on Fruits and Vegetables ›
By Danielle Nierenberg
Following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, people around the United States are protesting racism, police brutality, inequality, and violence in their own communities. No matter your political affiliation, the violence by multiple police departments in this country is unacceptable.
Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.
- Protecting Mangroves Can Prevent Billions of Dollars in Global ... ›
- Could the 'Mangrove Effect' Save Coasts From Sea Level Rise ... ›
Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?
- 5 Things to Know About Earth's Warming Oceans - EcoWatch ›
- Bioluminescent Waves Mesmerize California Beachgoers, Surfers ... ›
- NOAA: 2020 Could Be Warmest Year on Record - EcoWatch ›
- On June 8, We Celebrate Our Oceans, Our Future - EcoWatch ›
- 5 Things to Know About the State of Our Oceans for World Oceans Day ›
By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas
From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.
When Looking Through a Microscope Isn’t Close Enough.<p>For the last few years, <a href="http://www.rokaslab.org/" target="_blank">our team at Vanderbilt University</a>, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/lab/Gustavo-Goldman-Lab" target="_blank">Gustavo Goldman's team at São Paulo University in Brazil</a> and many other collaborators around the world have been collecting samples of fungi from patients infected with different species of <em>Aspergillus</em> molds. One of the species we are particularly interested in is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1006/rwgn.2001.0082" target="_blank"><em>Aspergillus nidulans</em>, a relatively common and generally harmless fungus</a>. Clinical laboratories typically identify the species of <em>Aspergillus</em> causing the infection by examining cultures of the fungi under the microscope. The problem with this approach is that very closely related species of <em>Aspergillus</em> tend to look very similar in their broad morphology or physical appearance when viewing them through a microscope.</p><p>Interested in examining the varying abilities of different <em>A. nidulans</em> strains to cause disease, we decided to analyze their total genetic content, or genomes. What we saw came as a total surprise. We had not collected <em>A. nidulans</em> but <em>Aspergillus latus</em>, a close relative of <em>A. nidulans</em> and, as we were to soon find out, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.071" target="_blank">a hybrid species that evolved through the fusion of the genomes</a> of two other <em>Aspergillus</em> species: <em>Aspergillus spinulosporus</em> and an unknown close relative of <em>Aspergillus quadrilineatus</em>. Thus, we realized not only that these patients harbored infections from an entirely different species than we thought they were, but also that this species was the first ever <em>Aspergillus</em> hybrid known to cause human infections.</p>
Several Different Fungal Hybrids Cause Human Disease.<p>Hybrid fungi that can cause infections in humans are well known to occur in several different lineages of single-celled fungi known as yeasts. Notable examples include multiple different species of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/yea.3242" target="_blank">yeast hybrids</a> that cause the human diseases <a href="https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6218/cryptococcosis" target="_blank">cryptococcosis</a> and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html" target="_blank">candidiasis</a>. Although pathogenic yeast hybrids are well known, our discovery that the <em>A. latus</em> pathogen is a hybrid is a first for molds that cause disease in humans.</p>
(Left) Candida yeasts live on parts of the human body. Imbalance of microbes on the body can allow these yeasts, some of which are hybrids, to grow and cause infection. (Right) Cryptococcus yeasts, including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008315" target="_blank">Why certain <em>Aspergillus</em> species are so deadly</a> while others are harmless remains unknown. This may in part be because <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbr.2007.02.007" target="_blank">combinations of traits, rather than individual traits</a>, underlie organisms' ability to cause disease. So why then are hybrids frequently associated with human disease? Hybrids inherit genetic material from both parents, which may result in new combinations of traits. This may make them more similar to one parent in some of their characteristics, reflect both parents in others or may differ from both in the rest. It is precisely this mix and match of traits that hybrids have inherited from their parental species that <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/science/14creatures.html" target="_blank">facilitates their evolutionary success</a>, including their ability to cause disease.</p>