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Health Features

Viva!Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

How friendly is your gut flora – the billions of bacteria that inhabit your intestines? This is your intestinal microbiome and it helps you absorb and digest nutrients, synthesises vitamins, boosts your immune system, helps regulate metabolism and combats disease in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. Gut health has a huge influence on your overall health and when unfriendly bacteria move in, trouble soon follows.
Why are there less vegan men than women? Are outdated gender stereotypes holding men back? It’s time to debunk the myths – from the daft to the downright dangerous – and reveal why going vegan is a good choice for men – as well as everyone else.
The dairy industry is up in arms about plant milks, first banning the use of the word ‘milk’ to describe a milky liquid that didn’t come from anyone’s mammary glands and now crying wolf over how many deficiencies we’ll possibly suffer if we ditch dairy. The truth is, there’s a long history of plant milks and other plant drinks having been made by people over millennia. There’s certainly nothing new or unusual about us consuming them.
Carbs – love them or hate them, we all need them. Despite a wealth of low-carb fad diets there’s no good reason for avoiding carbohydrates. The key is in choosing the right ones. 
It’s that tired old chestnut asked by those who think meat, fish, eggs and dairy are the only proper sources of protein. The glib answer is to ask where gorillas, elephants, horses and rhinos get theirs! Some human populations have been thriving on plant-based protein for thousands of years and if you eat enough calories in a varied, vegan diet, it is very difficult to go short. Deficiency is rare in Western societies and is usually the result of disease or ageing rather than diet.