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The Single Best Way to Ease Inflammation and Boost Your Immune Health | Columbia Magazine

Eating more plant-based food is also important because our gut bacteria feast on plant fiber and need a lot of it — ideally more than the US government’s daily recommended twenty to twenty-five grams for women and thirty to thirty-eight grams for men, according to Ravella. “Those guidelines should be considered a bare minimum, yet 95 percent of Americans don’t even get that much,” she says, noting that members of many traditional agricultural communities around the world consume vast quantities of fiber — around a hundred grams per day or more — and tend to have low rates of chronic disease. “A bowl of oatmeal contains about four grams of fiber, as does an apple or a serving of broccoli, and a cup of cooked beans contains about fifteen grams,” she says. “So you can see that it takes a sustained effort to get the fiber your body needs.”

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race | Discover Magazine

While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a bettter balance of other nutrients. In one study, the Bushmen's average daily food intake (during a month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size. It's almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75 or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.

Short-term study suggests vegan diet can boost gut microbes related to body weight, body composition and blood sugar control -- ScienceDaily

The study included 147 participants (86% women and 14% men; mean age was 55.6±11.3 years), who were randomised to follow a low-fat vegan diet (n=73) or to make no changes to their diet (n=74) for 16 weeks. At baseline and 16 weeks, gut microbiota composition was assessed, using uBiome kits. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure body composition. A standard method called the PREDIM index was used to assess insulin sensitivity. Following the 16-week study, body weight was reduced significantly in the vegan group (treatment effect average -5.8 kg), particularly due to a reduction in fat mass (average -3.9 kg) and in visceral fat. Insulin sensitivity also increased significantly in the vegan group. The relative abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii increased in the vegan group (treatment effect +4.8%). Relative changes in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii were associated with decreases in body weight, fat mass and visceral fat. The relative abundance of Bacteoides fragilis also increased in the vegan group (treatment effect +19.5%). Relative changes in Bacteroides fragilis were associated with decreases in body weight, fat mass and visceral fat, and increases in insulin sensitivity.