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  1. #2201
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  2. #2202
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    F*ck Cancer

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  3. #2203
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    Happy Hump day too

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  4. #2204
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    6 Edible Weeds that are More Nutritious than Store-Bought Veggies

    1. Chickweed

    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-chickweed.jpg

    Chickweed provides all the minerals most Americans are lacking — calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silica, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

    It’s also high in vitamin A, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, niacin, and vitamin C.

    It also contains 14.5 grams of protein per serving, about half a cup of dried leaves, according to the Plants For A Future database.

    Chickweed has a delicate flavor, much like spinach. It tastes great in sandwiches and salads.

    If you don’t like the taste, you can still reap the benefits by hiding it in soups and stews.

    Medicinally, chickweed can be used as a topical treatment for minor cuts, burns, eczema and rashes. It’s also a mild diuretic and is said to relieve cystitis and irritable-bladder-symptoms.

    2. Dandelion

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    Dandelions are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C and K.

    They’re also high in the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.

    Probably the most common of North American weeds, they’re also among the most medicinal, used throughout history to treat everything from liver problems and kidney disease to heartburn and appendicitis.

    More recently, a study found the plant kills cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy cells.

    Every part of this common weed is edible, from the roots to the blossoms. Use the leaves in sandwiches and stir-fries. Add the sweet flower heads to salads to salads or smoothies. The roots can be made into a herbal-tea, or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute.

    3. Chicory

    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-cichorium-intybus-8347-9.jpg

    Chicory contains at least a little of nearly every essential, yet hard-to-find, trace mineral, including 7% of our daily value of selenium and manganese and 5% of our daily value of iron.

    Selenium helps regulate thyroid hormones and the immune system, while manganese supports the formation of healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones.

    It’s also high in the macro minerals calcium, potassium and phosphorus and vitamins A,B and C

    Chicory roots contain a prebiotic vital to the growth and activity of probiotics, called oligosaccharide-enriched inulin.

    Oligosaccharides are present in only a few sources: breast milk, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, leeks, garlic, legumes, and bananas.

    Add fresh chicory leaves to a salad for a mild-to-peppery flavor. The remove some of the bitterness, boil or sauté.

    4. Curly Dock

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    Curly dock is one of the hardiest and most widespread weeds, so you should have no trouble finding a source.

    The leaves are high in beta-carotene, Vitamins A, B, C and the trace mineral zinc, strengthening your immune system, and the seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium for bone health.

    The stems of the curly-dock can be peeled and eaten either cooked or raw, and the mature seeds can be roasted to make an earthy, warm-drink.

    5. Common Mallow

    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-mallowleaves-768x576.jpg

    Mallow is high in vitamins A and C and calcium and iron.

    Unlike its name suggests, the flavor of this plant is nothing like marshmallow. Tea made from common mallow root forms a gelatinous mixture, which is soothing for the digestive and genitourinary tracts.

    6. Lambsquarters

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    Lambsquarters is high in Vitamin A and C, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. It’s also a decent source of protein.

    This rapidly growing summer weed produces black-seeds which are related to the protein-rich superfood quinoa.

    You can enjoy the young shoots and leaves of the plant. Whether raw or sautéed, they make a great replacement for spinach and are just as nutritious.


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  5. #2205
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    Happy "Plant Powered" Valentine's Day

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  7. #2207
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    oyster mushrooms sweet and savory coating
    Chef Jeff is seen making the dosas in the top left corner


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    Dosas

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    plant based
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  8. #2208
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    Will Cultured Meat Soon Be A Common Sight In Supermarkets Across The Globe?

    Up until now, plant-based food companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Quorn have almost singlehandedly worked to lessen the impacts of industrial animal agriculture.

    Supermarket shelves and fast food restaurants across the US are serving up vegan burgers and meatballs and plant-based chicken nuggets are showing consumers there is an alternative to relying on animal-based protein.

    But a quiet revolution is also taking place in labs, where scientists are working to cultivate meat and seafood grown from cells, with the potential to reduce demand for industrial animal agriculture even further.

    Here’s how the process works: Stem cells are taken from the muscle of an animal, usually with a small biopsy under anesthesia, then they’re put with nutrients, salts, pH buffers, and growth factor and left to multiply. Finessing the technology and getting the cost to an affordable level is happening at a slower pace than the plant-based industry, but a number of start-ups are nevertheless aiming to get their products on the market soon.

    Cell-based meat (also known as cultured, cultivated, slaughter-free, cell-cultured, and clean meat) could be a common sight in supermarkets across the west in the next three years, according to the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto. California-based Memphis Meats made headlines for its world-first cell-based meatballs four years ago, and is currently building a pilot plant to produce its cultured beef, chicken, and duck on a bigger scale – with plans to launch more plants around the world.

    And it isn’t the only cell-based meat start-up in the The Golden State. There’s the recently formed San Francisco-based Artemys Foods, co-founded by biochemist Jess Krieger, who has spent the past six years working at Kent State University in Ohio growing cell-based meat in a lab, Berkeley-based Mission Barns, focused on creating animal fat, which it has mixed with other ingredients to make duck sausages, and San Diego-based BlueNalu, a startup developing seafood from fish cells through a process called “cellular aquaculture.”

    But innovation isn’t limited to the US – it’s happening across the world. The global cell-based meat market is predicted to be worth $15.5m by 2021 and $20m by 2027, according to analysis. One report estimates that 35% of all meat will be cultured by 2040.

    While estimates vary, one study found that cell-based beef is projected to use 95 per cent fewer global greenhouse gas emissions, 98 per cent less land use and up to half as much energy. It also significantly reduces the amount of antibiotics needed, which are widely used in agriculture and contribute hugely to worsening antibiotic resistance. And since the animal cells are extracted humanely and grown in a facility rather than within the animals themselves, cell-based meat has the potential to all but eliminate animal suffering.

    The industry has made huge progress since the first cell-based hamburger was unveiled in 2013 in London by Dutch stem cell researcher Mark Post, chief scientific officer at Dutch company Mosa Meat. While this was a huge achievement, it also showed the world how far the industry had to go before commercially viable cell-based meat could be a reality. It cost $325,000 to make, and wasn’t totally animal-free, as most of the burger’s muscle strands were grown with fetal bovine serum, which comes from blood drawn from bovine fetuses.

    In the intervening years, Mosa Meat has made several breakthroughs, and aims to bring the price down to a commercial price. It now doesn’t require fetal bovine serum, and has developed a process that allows industrial scale production.

    Also in the Netherlands, start-up Meatable has recently raised €9m to help reduce costs and scale-up production of its beef and pork. It aims to have an industry-scale plant by 2025, and will have a small-scale bioreactor – the machine where cell-growth takes place - this year. Meatable’s cofounder Krijn de Nood hopes to unveil its first prototype this summer.

    Elsewhere in Europe, the UK’s Higher Steaks is growing stem cells for the production of mince for pork sausages. Instead of using fetal bovine serum, the company uses protocols exclusively licensed to it by its collaborators, the University of Minnesota, that allow it to reprogram stem cells into muscle and fat tissues.

    Instead of adult stem cells, it uses induced pluripotent stem cells, which means they have an infinite supply as the cells proliferate infinitely. With adult stem cells, researchers have to go to the animal every time they need a new batch.

    And Spain’s Cubiq Foods is producing cell-based fat, which is used to enhance the flavor of food and enrich it with essential fatty acids, such as omega-3.

    But when it comes to cell-based meat, all eyes are on Israel, where a number of start-ups like Future Meat Technologies and SuperMeat are making huge progress. The country’s interest in cell-based meat has also been attributed to its thriving vegan culture.

    Future Meat Technologies, founded in 2018, has shortened the manufacturing process to two weeks, with a patent-pending method they say allows for higher production yields of cell-based beef. The start-up's technologies enable producers, farmers and retailers to manufacture biomass and process it locally. The company hopes to get cost down to $10 per pound by 2022.

    As for SuperMeat, it is developing cell-based meat from chicken cells (it claimed during its launch in 2016 that it was the first company to work on clean chicken products for mass production). One of Europe's largest poultry producers, PHW-Gruppe formed a partnership with SuperMeat in 2018. “We believe 2020 will be the tipping point for the cultivated meat industry, once the proof of scale will be introduced to the world,” says Shir Friedman, Co-Founder and Chief Communications Officer of the company. “SuperMeat is excited to take a lead part in this historical event."

    Another Israeli start-up, Aleph Farms, created the world’s first cell-based steak at the end of 2018. It was co-founded only one year prior together with The Kitchen Hub from the Strauss Group, and with Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion Institute of Technology. And in fall of 2019, Aleph Farms successfully “3D printed” meat on the International Space Station. “Our experiment of bioprinting meat in space... consisted of printing a small-scale muscle tissue using 3D Bioprinting Solutions’ bioprinting technology,” says Yoav Reisler, External Relations Manager for the company. “The proof of concept sought to assess the potential of producing cultivated meat in a zero-gravity environment away from land and local water resources. Our approach for cultivating beef steaks is imperative to the experiment, as it relies on mirroring the natural process of tissue regeneration that happens in a cow’s body but under controlled and animal-free conditions. Our overarching goal is to produce meat products that have a significantly reduced ecological impact and this was a milestone in towards achieving that.” Earlier this month, Aleph Farms announced plans to open an educational complex next to its production facility to provide the general public a more in-depth view of how cell-based meat is grown.

    Also in Israel, BioFood Systems aims to produce beef products using bovine embryonic stem cells. It also hopes to scale up technology that it can license globally to enable meat manufacturers to produce their own cell-based meat.

    But other parts of the world aren’t far behind Israel, including Asia. Singaporean Shiok Meats is working on bringing cell-based based crustaceans (shrimp, crab and lobster) to market, and says it’s the first company of its kind in Singapore and South-East Asia. It hopes to have a commercially viable product in the next few years, and is currently researching and developing.

    And in Japan, meat producer Toriyama and its export agent, Awano Food Group has partnered with JUST to grow, distribute and sell its cell-based wagyu beef worldwide.

    n-between Asia and Europe, innovation is also happing in Turkey. Biftek is the first and still the only company developing cultured meat in the country. It uses a plant-based formulation, made up of 44 proteins, in place of fetal bovine serum. Founder Can Akcali said in a recent interview that the media in Turkey is showing a growing interest in its work, and cell-based meat more widely.

    Since the first cell-based unveiling of a cell-based burger in 2013, scientists have been flocking to labs in a race to iron out numerous teething problems and be the first to make a commercially viable cell-based meat product. Meanwhile, private investment into the industry has soared. Last year, twelve companies raised $50 million in 14 deals – double the amount of 2018. US-based Memphis Meats raised $22 million, Spain's Cubiq Foods raised $14 million and Mosa Meat drew in $9 million.

    Memphis Meats now plans to build a pilot production facility, thanks to additional investments in January this year from Cargill and Tyson Foods, as well as high-profile investors Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Kimbal Musk.

    Ido Savir, SuperMeat’s chief executive, said Mosa Meat introduced the concept of cell-based meat to the world, and that the main challenge start-ups are still facing is proof of scaling up production to a commercially viable size that's cost-efficient. Once these hurdles are overcome, it will be a much smoother process to get cell-based meat on shelves. At the moment, cell-based products are being prototyped in labs - but once scientists have finessed the process and the cost, they’re produced at scale and can grow in facilities like any other food.

    Many cell-based start-ups expect to get their products to market in the next few years. Whether or not they are actually able to meet that projection is an open question. “I worry most startups in the cultured meat space are overestimating their short-term timeline to get to market and underestimating their potential long-term impact on completely redesigning our food system from the cell-level up,” says Max Elder, Research Director in the Food Futures Lab at Institute for the Future. “Regardless of the timeline, one thing is clear: we desperately need to undo the damage industrialized animal agriculture is wreaking on our communities, animals, and the planet.” While it may indeed be unwise to count our cultured chickens before they hatch, especially in light of the urgent challenges we are facing, we can no doubt expect more innovation in the coming years. Perhaps one day - even if not in the near future - all the meat on our plates will indeed be slaughter-free.

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  9. #2209
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    The mystery of why there are more women vegans

    “Manly man,” the narrator observes, as a groom emerges from a house, carrying his bride. “Calm,” he marvels, as a man in a packed train carriage smiles tolerantly at the lady who just stepped on his foot. And on it goes… a sequence of scenes depicting men carrying out impressively gallant feats, as an orchestral soundtrack rises to a crescendo. At the end of the advert, a man bites into a burger. The tagline reads: “100% manly man. 100% pure beef”.

    This McDonald’s advert, broadcast in China in 2012, relies on the well-trodden stereotype that meat is masculine. And oddly, there is actually some truth to this. It turns out that – in almost every part of the globe, from Sweden to Australia – there are significantly fewer male vegans and vegetarians. In the US, one survey of 11,000 people found that just 24% of vegans are men.

    Anecdotally, this seems to stand up. The tally of famous female vegans is a glittering line-up, reportedly including – deep breath – Natalie Portman, Miley Cyrus, Venus Williams, Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, Jessica Chastain, Alanis Morissette, Jane Goodall, Princess Beatrice and Beyonce.

    Meanwhile, the cast of male celebrity vegans appears tiny in comparison, though it does feature Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Dinklage, Zac Efron, and – notoriously – the singer Morrissey, who masterminded a Smiths album called Meat Is Murder and is said to have forbidden his band members from being photographed eating meat.

    As it happens, psychologists have been aware of the mysterious abundance of female vegans for decades. They’ve come up with plenty of compelling explanations already – and they don’t reflect well on men.

    One possibility involves “precarious masculinity” – the idea that men are constantly worrying they will lose their manly status, and therefore feel the need to prove it at every opportunity. For example, when men are forced to do something “girly”, like braiding a doll’s hair, they tend to want to exhibit their machismo afterwards.

    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-p083bmgv.jpg

    This could potentially be a major stumbling block for aspiring male vegans, who must run the gauntlet of the red-blooded carnivore stereotype. But where did this come from in the first place?

    Steven Heine, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, suggests that it’s largely down to historical factors. “Meat has always been associated with danger, because you used to have to hunt to get it, and status, because it was a prized food and we lived in patriarchal societies – so men arranged that it would go to themselves,” he says.

    It’s also thought to have been perpetuated by marketing. Starting in the 19th Century, when it became more socially acceptable for parties of women to dine alone, restaurants and advertising executives scrambled to decide which foods were suitably feminine. Their verdict? Fussy desserts and dainty salads were for women, while steak was for men.

    Fast-forward to today, and we’re still passing these views on to the next generation.

    Merely listing the vegetarian foods a person enjoys, below a detailed description of their personality and habits, can be enough to make them seem less masculine
    Take “soy boys”. The Urban Dictionary defines the slang term as applying to “males who completely and utterly lack all necessary masculine qualities,” and claims it originates from the (scientifically dubious) link between the over-consumption of soya products and harm to the male physique and libido.

    In his research, Heine has found that merely listing the vegetarian foods a person enjoys, below a detailed description of their personality and habits, can be enough to make them seem less masculine. Knowing that, “perhaps some men are concerned about what will happen if they order a salad at a restaurant,” he says.

    Margaret Thomas, a psychologist at Earlham College, Indiana, agrees. “I don’t think people necessarily recognise the extent to which the food they choose to eat affects their identity,” she says. Thomas has also found that vegans are seen as less masculine – but only if it’s a choice. When her study participants were told that a person had been forced into the diet because of mysterious “digestive issues”, they weren’t judged so harshly.

    Of course, the story of why there are more women vegans isn’t all about men. Research has consistently shown that women are more compassionate in general, and particularly when it comes to animals. We’re more likely to have a problem with animal use in general and experimentation in particular, more likely to keep pets, and less likely to abuse them.

    Likewise, women make up 75% of the members of animal rights groups. In fact, feminists and animal activists have been working together for more than a century. Two prominent campaigners for women’s suffrage, Alice Wright and Edith Good, lobbied the United Nations to give animals formal rights back in the 1940s – a proposition which is only just beginning to be considered today.

    In 2018, the psychologist Carolyn Semmler set out to uncover if women are better at resolving the so-called “meat paradox” too. “There’s a lot of literature about this,” she says. “The idea that people claim to love animals – and yet they eat them.”

    Research has shown that women are more likely to use “avoidance” strategies to cope, such as avoiding connecting meat with animals
    Together with colleagues from the University of Adelaide, Semmler recruited 460 people for the study, and split them into two groups. Both were asked to select a lamb dish that they would like to eat, and then provided with some information.

    But while one half was merely asked to read about the nutritional content of their meal, the other was given a breakdown of exactly how lambs are reared and slaughtered, then shown a video of a precocious individual who had learnt to open a farm gate, all by him or herself. Each participant was surveyed at the beginning and the end of the study, to see how they felt and if their attitudes to meat had changed.

    “We saw some really interesting things happen,” says Semmler. First of all, most women felt worse after reading about the connection between animals and meat, while the men were more or less unaffected. Second, while the women were generally less attached to meat by the end of the study, the men were more carnivorous than ever.

    “There was a group of male participants who had a really strong reaction to the study – saying that they were going to eat more meat, because they thought we wanted them to eat less.” One explained: “…Based on the line of questioning in this survey, I am concerned that some lunatics might try to ban meat; I had better enjoy as much as possible while I am able.” Though not all the men felt this way, a significant proportion did. The team didn’t get the same response from a single woman.

    One possible reason for this is the discrepancy in the ways men and women deal with the meat paradox. A 2013 study, led by Hank Rothgerber from Bellarmine University, Kentucky, found that women are more likely to use “avoidance” strategies to cope, such as avoiding connecting meat with animals.

    This is surprisingly easy to implement in everyday life, since most supermarkets, restaurants and food brands tend to helpfully remove the more gruesome clues, such as eyeballs, feet and fur. If animals are depicted in their marketing, they’re usually happy cartoons. Even the language we use helps to keep up the ruse, since we usually to refer to pork instead of pig, mutton instead of sheep, beef instead of cow, etc.

    n contrast to the “dissociation” strategy favoured by women, Semmler’s study found that men generally to tackle the troubling reality that they like animals and also eat them more directly, by denying that they can feel pain, suggesting that meat is essential if you want to be healthy, and invoking the hierarchy of the natural world, to justify the idea that humans can do what they like with other creatures.

    With this in mind, it makes sense that the female participants would be more affected – since the information they were asked to read snatched their usual coping mechanism away from them. The men, meanwhile, simply pressed on with their usual justifications and dug themselves in.

    But that might not be the only reason. Intriguingly, Semmler says her results fit nicely with what other research has shown about how men and women usually deal with any set of incompatible beliefs or behaviours. “While men tend to go on the attack, women tend to think ‘I’m going to modify my behaviour because the problem is with me – I’m going to accept responsibility for this’,” she says.

    For example, when women are forced to confront the unhealthy reality of certain behaviours, such as smoking or sex without condoms – and then remember instances when they have engaged in these risks – in some cases, they change their attitudes and behaviour to a greater extent than men do.


    Finally, there’s “social dominance theory”, which suggests that men might find meat more appealing when they’re reminded it’s made from animals, because it reinforces their sense of dominance and superiority – by viewing animals as unworthy of respect, they are asserting their power over them.

    There is some evidence to support this idea. A survey of the attitudes of American college students, conducted in 2015, found a link between a preference for a more hierarchically stratified society and the use – and endorsement of the use of – animals.

    The link between meat and dominance isn’t just about animals – it also seems to extend to our own species. One early study, conducted in the 1980s by the anthropologist Peggy Sanday, involved comparing the power structures of a hundred hunter-gatherer cultures, some of which relied more on meat for food, and some of which relied more on gathered fruits and vegetables. She found that the meat-based societies tended to be more patriarchal, while the plant-based ones were generally more egalitarian.

    This is thought to be because men are more likely to be hunters, so where meat is important they automatically have more power if they want it – which the study findings suggest they do. Meanwhile, where gathered foods dominate, women might use the status this affords them to carve out more equal societies.

    Semmler thinks we need a lot more research before we can truly unravel the enigma of the women vegans. But it looks like it’s down to a combination of the empathy gap between the sexes, our different strategies for overcoming the meat paradox, and the uniquely male fear that a salad could undermine their carefully manicured status.

    One thing is clear: as the global popularity of veganism gathers pace – the number of US vegans increased by 600% between 2014 and 2017 – women are way ahead.


    sauce https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...TOQuEPwvDP1xT8
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  10. #2210
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    Two studies highlight effects of diet and microbiome on heart and aging

    Two newly published studies are offering novel insights into the relationship between our diets, gut microbiome, and general health. One study is suggesting a Mediterranean diet can reconfigure gut bacteria to promote healthy aging, while a second study reveals plant-based diets can reduce gut microbe production of a metabolite linked to heart disease.

    Our gut microbiome, much like the rest of our body, changes distinctly as we age. Prior research has found poor diets in older subjects are linked to less diverse gut microbiomes and more rapid signs of frailty and aging. In one new study an international team of researchers set out to investigate whether a Mediterranean diet, sustained for 12 months, altered an older microbiome and improved biomarkers associated with healthy aging.

    Over 600 subjects were studied, aged between 65 and 79. Half of the cohort continued on their normal diet, while the other half followed a form of Mediterranean diet particularly designed for senior citizens, called the NU-AGE diet.

    “We observed that increased adherence to the MedDiet modulates specific components of the gut microbiota that were associated with a reduction in risk of frailty, improved cognitive function and reduced inflammatory status,” the researchers explain in the new study.

    After 12 months on the Mediterranean diet the researchers identified increased gut bacterial diversity and improved metabolic markers associated with general healthy aging. Interestingly, the study does reference a prior trial investigating the effect of prebiotic supplementation on microbiome diversity in the same age group. That study found little change to overall microbiome diversity after six months of daily prebiotic supplementation. Although the prebiotics did enhance specific microbial populations, overall gut microbiome diversity was not improved and, despite the specific bacterial changes, the study did not detect improvements in inflammatory biomarkers.

    These results, taken in tandem with the new results, suggest overall dietary interventions are more effective at maintaining general health and microbiome diversity, instead of focusing on particular pre or probiotic supplementation.

    A second newly published study looking at diet, health, and the microbiome, homed in more specifically on a very specific gut metabolite strongly linked to heart disease. Prior study has revealed a significant association between high levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and increased risk of heart disease.

    TMAO is produced in the gut when certain bacteria digest animal products, primarily red meat. A small Australian study last year found individuals consuming the popular Paleo diet had significantly higher levels of TMAO in their bloodstream compared to a cohort eating more traditional diets.

    The new research examined data from a large longitudinal study known as the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed over 100,000 nurses for a decade. This data offers some of the first insights into the long-term relationship between TMAO blood levels and cardiovascular health.

    Over 10 years a distinct link between increased TMAO levels and coronary heart disease (CHD) was detected. Women with the largest TMAO blood level increase across the 10-year period displayed a 63-percent higher risk of CHD.

    "No previous prospective cohort study has addressed whether long-term changes in TMAO are associated with CHD, and whether dietary intakes can modify these associations,” says senior author on the new TMAO study, Lu Qi. “Our findings show that decreasing TMAO levels may contribute to reducing the risk of CHD, and suggest that gut-microbiomes may be new areas to explore in heart disease prevention."

    These two new studies don’t imply the gut microbiome is the singular causal factor controlling general health and aging, but points more to a complex and bi-directional interplay between the bacteria living inside of us, the food we eat, and our overall health.

    While it is still early days in the field of gut microbiome science, it’s becoming increasingly clear there is not one single magical probiotic that will be the key to perfect health. Instead the secret may be what we already know, that a balanced diet and active lifestyle is the best path to positive general health.

    The interplay of diet, microbiome and host health is a complex phenomenon influenced by several factors," the Mediterranean diet researchers conclude in their new study. "While the results of this study shed light on some of the rules of this three-way interplay, several factors such as age, body mass index, disease status and initial dietary patterns may play a key role in determining the extent of success of these interactions."

    The Mediterranean diet study was published in the journal Gut, while the TMAO study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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  11. #2211
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    How Vegans Can Get the Nutrients They Need

    One of the most challenging aspects of eating a vegan diet is ensuring that all your nutrition needs are met despite eliminating major food groups from your diet. Following a vegan diet means cutting out all animal-based foods like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. It can feel restrictive and also be unhealthy without the proper knowledge and resources at hand. Studies have shown that vegans tend to have lower intakes of vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc compared to nonvegetarians; therefore, it's important for vegans to identify vegan-friendly sources of these nutrients.

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12, found primarily in animal-derived foods, such as meat, fish and poultry, is essential for red blood cell production and neurological function. Low B12 levels often go undetected in vegans because high folate levels can mask deficiencies, so be sure to talk to your doctor about getting tested and possibly taking a supplement. A 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 52 percent of vegans were vitamin B12 deficient.

    Vegan foods to include for B12:
    Fortified breads, cereals and energy bars
    Fortified soy products (soy milk and faux meats)
    Fortified plant-based milks (soy, rice, almond, hemp and coconut)
    Nutritional yeast (a vegan-friendly seasoning with a cheesy flavor)

    Iron

    Iron is necessary for blood production, growth and development, metabolism and cellular functioning. Unfortunately for vegans and vegetarians, the type of iron found in plant-based foods (nonheme iron) isn't as easily absorbed as the iron found in meat (heme iron). Since the body can't use it as effeciently, vegans need more iron: the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vegans is 1.8 times higher than for meat eaters. However, there are lots of yummy plant-based sources of iron that vegans can eat. So be sure to include enough plant-based sources of iron, and eat these foods together with vitamin C-rich foods to help with iron absorption.

    Vegan foods to include for more iron:
    Dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens and kale)
    Whole grains (quinoa, barley, bulgur and brown rice)
    Legumes, pulses, nuts and seeds (beans, peas and lentils)
    Dried fruit (peaches, prunes, apricots and raisins)
    Fortified cereals and rice
    Spirulina (powder made from microalgae)
    Vegan foods high in vitamin C to increase iron absorption:
    Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit and lemons)
    Tomatoes
    Bell peppers
    Berries

    Calcium and Vitamin D

    Bone health is a concern for vegans, since plant-based diets typically fall short of the recommended intakes for calcium and vitamin D. In fact, a 2010 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that vegans had the lowest vitamin D levels, compared to vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

    Vegan foods rich in calcium to include:
    Dark leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, bok choy, turnip and mustard greens)
    Fortified nondairy alternatives (soy, almond and coconut-based milk and yogurt)
    Fortified soy products (tofu, milk and yogurt)
    Fortified juices
    Beans (navy and white)
    Vegan foods high in vitamin D to include:
    Fortified cereals and juices
    Fortified soy (milk and yogurt)
    Mushrooms (maitake and shiitake or UV-exposed white, cremini and portobello)
    Omega-3s

    Without seafood in the diet, vegans struggle to get enough of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Plus, vegans' requirements for essential fatty acids may be higher than those for nonvegetarians because of the inefficient conversion of plant-based ALA into EPA and DHA.

    Vegan foods to Include:
    Seeds (chia, ground flaxseed and hemp)
    Walnuts
    Sea vegetables and microalgae

    Zinc

    Zinc plays an important role in many cellular functions, including the immune system, wound healing, and growth and development. The high phytate content (found in grains, legumes and seeds) of vegan diets decreases zinc absorption, making it that much more important for vegans to include food sources of zinc in their diets. Try soaking and sprouting beans and grains to reduce their phytate content and maximize zinc absorption.

    Vegan foods to Include:
    Beans
    Nuts
    Seeds
    Whole grains and fortified cereals
    Soy (tofu, tempeh)

    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-80838568_2569091443335291_3684362069089452032_o.jpg

    sauce How Vegans Can Get the Nutrients They Need | EatingWell
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

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