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Astronauts Return to Earth From International Space Station – EcoWatch

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Though it’s essential to your gut and overall health, most people don’t reach the recommended daily amounts (RDA) of 25 and 38 grams for women and men, respectively.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber help bulk up your stools and can be used as a food source for good bacteria in your large intestine.

Soluble fiber draws water into your gut, which softens your stools and supports regular bowel movements.

It not only helps you feel fuller and reduces constipation but may also lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Here are 20 healthy foods that are high in soluble fiber.

1. Black Beans

Black beans are not only a great way to give your dishes a meaty texture but also an amazing source of fiber.

One cup (172 grams) packs 15 grams, which is about what an average person consumes per day, or 40–60% of the RDA for adults.

Black beans contain pectin, a form of soluble fiber that becomes gummy-like in water. This can delay stomach emptying and make you feel fuller longer, giving your body more time to absorb nutrients.

Black beans are also rich in protein and iron, low in calories, and almost fat-free.

Soluble fiber content: 5.4 grams per three-quarter cup (129 grams) of cooked black beans.

2. Lima Beans

Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are large, flat, greenish-white beans.

They mainly contain carbs and protein, as well as a little fat.

They’re lower in total dietary fiber than black beans, but their soluble fiber content is almost identical. Lima beans also contain the soluble fiber pectin, which is associated with reduced blood sugar spikes after meals.

Raw lima beans are toxic when raw and should be soaked and boiled before you eat them.

Soluble fiber content: 5.3 grams per three-quarter cup (128 grams) of lima beans.

3. Brussels Sprouts

The world may be divided into Brussels sprout lovers and haters, but whatever side you’re on, it’s undeniable that this vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with various cancer-fighting agents.

What’s more, Brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber, with 4 grams per cup (156 grams).

The soluble fiber in Brussels sprouts can be used to feed beneficial gut bacteria. These produce vitamin K and B vitamins, along with short-chain fatty acids that support your gut lining.

Soluble fiber content: 2 grams per one-half cup (78 grams) of Brussels sprouts.

4. Avocados

Avocados originate from Mexico but have gained popularity worldwide.

Haas avocados are the most common type. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.

One avocado packs 13.5 grams of dietary fiber. However, one serving — or one-third of the fruit — provides about 4.5 grams, 1.4 of which are soluble.

Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, avocados really stand out in this regard.

Compared with other popular fiber sources, they contain lower amounts of the antinutrients phytate and oxalate, which can reduce mineral absorption.

Soluble fiber content: 2.1 grams per one-half avocado.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, beta carotene, B vitamins, and fiber. Just one medium-sized sweet potato packs over 400% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A.

What’s more, the average potato contains about 4 grams of fiber, almost half of which is soluble.

Therefore, sweet potatoes can contribute significantly to your total soluble fiber intake.

Soluble fiber may be important for weight management. The more of it you eat, the greater the release of gut-satiety hormones, which may help reduce your overall appetite.

Soluble fiber content: 1.8 grams per one-half cup (150 grams) of cooked sweet potato.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that grows well in cool seasons. It’s usually dark green, but you can also find purple varieties.

It’s high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot, and is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It also has antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Broccoli is a good source of dietary fiber, with 2.6 grams per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), more than half of which is soluble.

The high amount of soluble fiber in broccoli can support your gut health by feeding the good bacteria in your large intestine. These bacteria produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate and acetate.

Soluble fiber content: 1.5 grams per one-half cup (92 grams) of cooked broccoli.

7. Turnips

Turnips are root vegetables. Larger varieties are usually fed to livestock, but the smaller types are a great addition to your diet.

The most abundant nutrient in turnips is potassium, followed by calcium and vitamins C and K.

They’re also great for upping your fiber intake — 1 cup packs 5 grams of fiber, 3.4 of which are soluble.

Soluble fiber content: 1.7 grams per one-half cup (82 grams) of cooked turnips.

8. Pears

Pears are crisp and refreshing and serve as a decent source of vitamin C, potassium, and various antioxidants.

What’s more, they’re an excellent source of fiber, with 5.5 grams in one medium-sized fruit. Soluble fiber contributes 29% of the total dietary fiber content of pears, the main form being pectin.

Due to their high fructose and sorbitol contents, pears can sometimes have a laxative effect. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may need to moderate your intake.

Soluble fiber content: 1.5 grams per medium-sized pear.

9. Kidney Beans

Their characteristic shape gave kidney beans their name.

They’re a key ingredient in chili con carne and great source of dietary fiber, complex carbs, and protein. They’re also almost fat-free and contain some calcium and iron.

Kidney beans are a good source of soluble fiber, particularly pectin.

However, some people find beans hard to digest. If that’s the case for you, start increasing your kidney bean intake slowly to avoid bloating.

Soluble fiber content: 3 grams per three-quarter cup (133 grams) of cooked beans.

10. Figs

Figs were one of the first cultivated plants in human history.

They’re highly nutritious, containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and other nutrients.

Both dried and fresh figs are great sources of soluble fiber, which slows the movement of food through your intestines, allowing more time for nutrient absorption.

Based on anecdotal evidence, dried figs have been used as a home remedy to relieve constipation for years. While one study found that fig paste improved bowel movements in constipated dogs, human-based research is lacking.

Soluble fiber content: 1.9 grams per one-fourth cup (37 grams) of dried figs.

11. Nectarines

Nectarines are stone fruits that grow in warm, temperate regions. They’re similar to peaches, but don’t have the same characteristic fuzzy skin.

They’re a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin E. What’s more, they contain various substances with antioxidant properties.

One medium-sized nectarine has 2.4 grams of fiber, more than half of which is soluble.

Soluble fiber content: 1.4 grams per medium-sized nectarine.

12. Apricots

Apricots are small, sweet fruits that range in color from yellow to orange, with the occasional red tinge.

They’re low in calories and a good source of vitamins A and C.

Three apricots provide 2.1 grams of fiber, the majority of which is soluble.

In Asia, apricots have been used in folk medicine for years, and it’s believed that they can protect people from heart disease.

They may also aid digestion. One study found that mice eating fiber from apricots had higher stool weights than those who received insoluble fiber alone.

Soluble fiber content: 1.4 grams per 3 apricots.

13. Carrots

Carrots are one of the most popular and tasty vegetables on Earth.

Boiled or steamed, carrots are a key ingredient in many recipes, but they can also be grated into salads or used to make desserts like carrot cake.

With good reason, you may have been told as a child to eat carrots to help you see in the dark.

Carrots are packed with beta carotene, some of which is converted into vitamin A. This vitamin supports your eyes and is particularly important for night vision.

One cup (128 grams) of chopped carrots contains 4.6 grams of dietary fiber, 2.4 of which are soluble.

Since many people enjoy this vegetable daily, it can be a key source of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber content: 2.4 grams per cup (128 grams) of cooked carrots.

14. Apples

Apples are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world. Most varieties are quite sweet, but others like Granny Smith can be very sour.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old proverb that may have some truth, as eating this fruit is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases.

Apples pack various vitamins and minerals and are a good source of the soluble fiber pectin. Apple pectin may have many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and improved gut function.

Soluble fiber content: 1 gram per medium-sized apple.

15. Guavas

Guavas are a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central and South America. Their skin is typically green, while the pulp can range from off-white to deep-pink.

One guava packs 3 grams of dietary fiber, about 30% of which is soluble.

This fruit has been shown to reduce blood sugar, as well as total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in healthy people. In part, this may be due to the soluble fiber pectin, which can delay the absorption of sugar.

Soluble fiber content: 1.1 grams per raw guava fruit.

16. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are tiny brown, yellow, or golden seeds.

They pack a nutritious punch and can be a great way to improve the nutrient content of your smoothies, breads, or cereals.

Sprinkling 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds over your porridge can add an extra 3.5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein to your breakfast. They’re also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fats.

If possible, soak ground flax seeds overnight, as this allows their soluble fiber to combine with water to form a gel, which may aid digestion.

Soluble fiber content: 0.6–1.2 grams per tablespoon (14 grams) of whole flax seeds.

17. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a great nutritious snack and often purchased already shelled to reveal the tasty sunflower heart.

They contain about 3 grams of dietary fiber per one-fourth cup, 1 gram of which is soluble. What’s more, they’re rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein, magnesium, selenium, and iron.

Soluble fiber content: 1 gram per one-fourth cup (35 grams) of sunflower seeds.

18. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a delicious type of nut that can be eaten raw or roasted for a stronger flavor. They’re also often used as an ingredient in chocolate bars and spreads.

One-fourth cup of hazelnuts packs about 3.3 grams of dietary fiber, one-third of which is soluble. Additionally, they’re rich in unsaturated fats, vitamin E, thiamine, and iron.

Partly due to their soluble fiber content, hazelnuts may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Soluble fiber content: 1.1 grams per one-fourth cup (34 grams) of hazelnuts.

19. Oats

Oats are one of the most versatile and healthy grains around. You can use them to make breakfast cereals, breads, scones, flapjacks, or fruit crumbles.

They contain beta glucan, a form of soluble fiber that’s associated with reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and improved blood sugar control. It’s estimated that 3 grams of oat beta glucan per day can reduce your risk of heart disease.

About 1.25 cups (100 grams) of dry oats contain 10 grams of total dietary fiber. This is divided into 5.8 grams of insoluble and 4.2 grams of soluble fiber, 3.6 of which are beta glucan.

Beta glucan is also what gives porridge its characteristic creamy texture.

Soluble fiber content: 1.9 grams per cup (233 grams) of cooked oats.

20. Barley

Some people may associate barley with the brewing industry, but this nutritious ancient grain is also often used to thicken soups, stews, or risottos.

Like oats, it contains about 3.5–5.9% of the soluble fiber beta glucan, which has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Other forms of soluble fiber in barley are psyllium, pectin, and guar gum.

Soluble fiber content: 0.8 grams per one-half cup (79 grams) of cooked barley.

The Bottom Line

Soluble fiber is great for your gut and overall health, reducing your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and helping you balance your blood sugar levels.

If you want to increase your soluble fiber intake, it’s often best to start slowly and build it up gradually.

It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water. This will help the soluble fiber form a gel, which aids digestion and prevents constipation.

All fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes contain some soluble fiber, but certain foods like Brussels sprouts, avocados, flax seeds, and black beans are the cream of the crop.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

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Astronomers Detect a Suspiciously Shaped Galaxy Lurking in The Very Early Universe

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Around 13.8 billion years ago, somehow the Universe popped into existence. But it didn’t come fully equipped. At some point, the first stars formed, and the first galaxies. How and when this happened is still a mystery astronomers are trying to solve… but one galaxy could have a vitally important key.

 

It’s called DLA0817g – nicknamed the Wolfe Disk – a cool, rotating, gas-rich disc galaxy with a mass of about 72 billion times that of our Sun. And the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array has snapped it a massive 12.5 billion light-years away – when the Universe was just 10 percent of its current age.

It’s the earliest rotating disc galaxy astronomers have found yet, and its very existence changes our understanding of galaxy formation in the early Universe.

Most of the galaxies in the early Universe are a hot mess, literally. They’re all blobby, with stars flying every which way, and rather high temperatures. Astronomers have interpreted this to mean that they grew large by colliding and merging with other galaxies – a hot, messy process.

“Most galaxies that we find early in the Universe look like train wrecks because they underwent consistent and often ‘violent’ merging,” explained astronomer Marcel Neeleman of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

“These hot mergers make it difficult to form well-ordered, cold rotating disks like we observe in our present Universe.”

 

Under this scenario, it takes a long time for the galaxies to cool down and smooth out into the more orderly rotating disc galaxies like the Milky Way. We don’t generally start seeing them until about 4 to 6 billion years after the Big Bang.

This is the “hot” mode of galaxy formation. But astronomers had also predicted and simulated another way – the “cold” mode. 

First, you need to start with the primordial soup, an ionised quark-gluon plasma that filled the Universe before the formation of matter. To go from this homogeneous plasma to a Universe filled with stuff, astrophysicists have run simulations that suggest dark matter is responsible.

We don’t know what dark matter is. We can’t detect it directly, but it interacts gravitationally with normal matter. It helps to hold galaxies together, and we believe that it could be crucial to galaxy formation, clumps of it pulling together gas and stars into galaxies.

Supercomputer simulations have shown that a massive network of dark matter in the early Universe could have facilitated the formation of cool galaxies. If the gas was cool to start with, it could have been fed along filaments of the network into the dark matter clumps, accreting into large, cool, orderly disc galaxies.

 

But the only way to confirm this model is through observational evidence, so the researchers went looking, using the light of even more distant galaxies, called quasars, to illuminate the way.

Distant galaxies are very hard to see, but quasars are among the most luminous objects in the Universe – galaxies lit by an active supermassive black hole, the space around it blasting out radiation as it feeds. The team turned ALMA’s powerful capabilities to these distant quasars, looking for signatures in their light that showed that it had passed through a gas-filled galaxy on the way.

They found it. The light from one of the quasars they imaged had passed through a region rich with hydrogen – the signature of the Wolfe Disk.

And there was something else. The light on one side of the disc was compressed, or blueshifted. We see this when something is moving towards us. And the light from the other side was stretched, or redshifted – moving away from us. The object was rotating.

Those Doppler shifts, as they are known, then allowed the researchers to calculate the velocity of the galaxy’s rotation: around 272 kilometres per second.

What’s even more wild is that the team believes the Wolfe Disk isn’t one of a kind. 

“The fact that we found the Wolfe Disk using this method, tells us that it belongs to the normal population of galaxies present at early times,” Neeleman said.

“When our newest observations with ALMA surprisingly showed that it is rotating, we realised that early rotating disk galaxies are not as rare as we thought and that there should be a lot more of them out there.”

The team will continue their search for these galaxies to find out just how common cold accretion was in the early Universe.

The research has been published in Nature.

 

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NASA’s head of human spaceflight abruptly resigns, citing ‘mistake’ – CNN

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His departure was effective on Monday.

The incident in question was related to the Artemis Program, a source familiar with the matter told CNN Business.
The Artemis Program seeks to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, which was announced by the Trump administration last year and has been criticized as unrealistic. The source familiar with the reason for Loverro’s departure said the issue centered on contracts that were awarded earlier this year for development of lunar landers, or vehicles that can carry astronauts to the moon’s surface.

When reached by phone Tuesday evening, Loverro declined to comment on the reason for his departure.

Loverro began serving in his role as the head of NASA’s human spaceflight programs in December, replacing William Gerstenmaier, who served in the role for more than a decade. In his nearly 700-word note, Loverro told NASA workers only that leaders are “called on to take risks” and added that, “I took such a risk earlier in the year because I judged it necessary to fulfill our mission.”

“Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences,” Loverro wrote. “And therefore, it is with a very, very heavy heart that I write to you today to let you know that I have resigned from NASA effective May 18th, 2020.”

NASA’s Office of the Inspector General announced an audit of the agency’s acquisition strategy for the Artemis program in March, though it’s unclear if that review was related to Loverro’s departure. It’s also unclear exactly what role Loverro played in the selection process.
The source familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous because the space agency has not yet publicized details, told CNN Business that the incident in question was unrelated to NASA’s historic milestone next week when SpaceX, NASA’s partner in the Commercial Crew Program, launches two astronauts to the International Space Station. That mission will mark the first time since 2011 that humans have launched into orbit from US soil, and Loverro was slated to preside over a final technical review meeting on Thursday, ahead of launch on May 27. Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s associate administrator, will take over Loverro’s role at that meeting, according to NASA.

Ken Bowersox, NASA’s acting deputy associate administrator for human exploration and operations, will become NASA’s interim head of human spaceflight.

Loverro’s exit immediately raised some eyebrows on Capitol Hill.

Meet the NASA astronauts who will fly on historic SpaceX mission

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Texas who chairs the House space and science committee, said in a statement that she was “shocked” by the news.

“I trust that NASA Administrator Bridenstine will ensure that the right decision is made as to whether or not to delay the launch attempt,” Johnson said. “Beyond that, Mr. Loverro’s resignation is another troubling indication that the Artemis Moon-Mars initiative is still not on stable footing. I look forward to clarification from NASA as to the reasons for this latest personnel action.”

Kendra Horn, a Democrat from Oklahoma who chairs a House subcommittee on space, said in a tweet Tuesday that she is “deeply concerned over this sudden resignation, especially eight days before the first scheduled launch of US astronauts on US soil in almost a decade.”

The timing of Loverro’s departure was related to when Jurczyk, the associate administrator, made a recommendation to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the source said. It was unrelated to next week’s Crew Dragon launch, the source added.

Jurczyk was the source selection officer for the Artemis lunar lander contract awards, according to public documents.

In announcing Loverro’s appointment in October, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine called Loverro “a respected strategic leader in both civilian and defense programs” who “will be of great benefit to NASA at this critical time in our final development of human spaceflight systems for both Commercial Crew and Artemis.”

An agency-wide email sent on Tuesday said Loverro “hit the ground running” after his appointment in 2019 and had made “significant progress in his time at NASA.”

“His leadership of [NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations] has moved us closer to our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024,” the email said. It said his resignation was effective immediately, though it did not provide details on the reason for his exit.

A NASA spokesperson declined to comment.

Loverro told CNN Business he is “100% confident” that leadership will be able to carry out the SpaceX mission. He added that he believes NASA’s ambitious human spaceflight goals are “doable.” “But,” he added, “it will take risk takers to get us there, and I hope folks who step in my shoes will continue to take risks.”

Next week’s SpaceX launch will mark the space agency’s highest-profile mission since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. SpaceX, which has a multibillion-dollar contract under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, has worked for the better part of a decade to ready its Dragon spacecraft for crewed flights to the International Space Station. Since the Shuttle retired, NASA has had to rely on Russia for rides to the ISS.

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In an orange swirl, astronomers say humanity has its first look at the birth of a planet

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An image of a mesmerizing cosmic spiral, twisting and swirling around a galactic maw, may be the first direct evidence of the birth of a planet ever captured by humanity.

The European Southern Observatory released a picture Wednesday of what astronomers believe shows the process of cosmic matter at a gravitational tipping point, collapsing into a new world around a nearby star.

Astronomers said the dramatic scene offers a rare glimpse into the formation of a baby planet, which could help scientists better understand how planets come to exist around stars.

“Thousands of exoplanets have been identified so far, but little is known about how they form,” the lead author of a study detailing the discovery, Anthony Boccaletti, an astronomer at the Observatoire de Paris in France, said in a statement.

Planets are thought to form out of the massive discs of gas and dust that surround young stars. As tiny specks of dust circle a star and collide with one another, some material starts to fuse, much like how rolling a snowball through more snow will eventually yield a bigger snowball. After billions of years, the clumps of material become large enough that the force of gravity shapes them into planets.

The new image peers into the disc of material around a young star known as AB Aurigae, which is 520 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Auriga. Amid the hypnotic spiral arms is a “twist,” visible in the photo as a bright yellow region in the center, that is thought to be a sign of a planet being born, said Emmanuel Di Folco, a researcher at the Astrophysics Laboratory of Bordeaux in France, who participated in the study.

When a planet forms, the clumps of material create wavelike perturbations in the gas- and dust-filled disc around a star, “somewhat like the wake of a boat on a lake,” Di Folco said.

The bright region at the center of the new image is thought to be evidence of such a disturbance, which had been predicted in models of planetary birth.

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“The twist is expected from some theoretical models of planet formation,” said Anne Dutrey, an astronomer at the Astrophysics Laboratory of Bordeaux and co-author of the study, published Wednesday in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. “It corresponds to the connection of two spirals — one winding inwards of the planet’s orbit, the other expanding outwards — which join at the planet location.”

The new observations of the baby planet were made in 2019 and early 2020 by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The research team, made up of astronomers from France, Taiwan, the U.S. and Belgium, said the images are the deepest observations of the AB Aurigae system made to date.

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