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7 Gross-Sounding Foods That Might Help You Live Longer

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By Chris Gayomali

It's not exactly a secret that so-called superfoods like coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine help us live longer, healthier lives by keeping the body's engines running clean with age-defying antioxidants. But while many folks find the aforementioned indulgences quite tasty, there are plenty of pungent, slimy foodstuffs from around the world that are comparatively jam-packed with life-extending nutrients and bacteria, even if they take the tastebuds a little more getting used to. Here, in no particular order, are seven purported superfoods that might help you live a longer, healthier life.

1. Garlic, onions, and things that smell like rotten eggs

Researchers in China found that the gas that gives rotten eggs their foul smell could be the key to slowing down the effects of Father Time. According to Bloomberg, a small amount of hydrogen sulfide — which was recently discovered to be produced by the body's own cells, but can be released by foods like onions and garlic, too — helps "counter cell-damaging free-radicals; encourages production of an enzyme thought to be a regulator of lifespan; and interacts with a gene that appears to have its own market basket of anti-aging activity." While eating rotten eggs is obviously a no-no, adding more garlic and onions to your diet in the interim might help unlock the same health benefits. Just remember to keep gum handy.

2. Kefir

It's not quite yogurt. But it's not quite milk, either. Indigenous to the Caucasus Mountains of the former Soviet Union (whose inhabitants are known for their unusually long lifespans), kefir is a fermented milk drink made by combining lactic acid bacteria, milk, yeast, and lactobacillus bacteria to make a tangy, fizzy elixir that can now be found in just about any Whole Foods. Originally swirled together in bags made from goat hide, the superfood is filled with all the probiotic goodness that health experts champion, helping to fight off infection and inflammation while normalizing digestion. 

3. Kimchi

Pickled and buried underground for months at a time, the spicy Korean staple is widely regarded as one of the healthiest foods in the world. (And while it may sound gross, trust us: Kimchi is delicious.) As a result of its fermentation, kimchi is brimming with healthy lactobacilli that have been proven to help regulate the gut, and perhaps even fight certain cancers. (It also comes loaded with vitamins A, B, and C.) Former South Korean Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sung-Hoon Kim once told the Washington Post that the stuff could be sold at Sephora as a regenerative skin-care product. "I'm 73 years old," he said. "Do you see any wrinkles on me?" 

4. Blood sausage

Blood sausage — sometimes called black pudding — is exactly what it sounds like: Pork, beef blood, gelatin, and spices, all heated together and left to congeal in a tube. Yum! The stuff is also unusually nutrient-dense: Not only is blood sausage high in muscle-building protein with nary a carb in sight, but the murky, jellied plasma is chock full of zinc and iron — two nutrients many adults are deficient in. 

5. Habanero peppers

Capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their uncomfortably fiery burn, was designed by Mother Nature to keep hungry animals away. But the spice also introduces a number of helpful phytochemicals into the body, which help burn calories, relieve pain for patients suffering from osteoarthritis and psoriasis, and might even help kill prostate and breast cancer cells. Good news all around. At least if your stomach can handle the heat.

6. Natto

The slimy, sticky consistency of fermented soybeans might take some getting used to for many western palates, but the Japanese breakfast food is actually something of a health marvel. To make it, soybeans are left to soak overnight. Then, powdered natto bacteria is sprinkled on top, and the beans are left to ferment and age for a week. Not only does the pungent soybean mix pack as much protein as lean beef, but natto is rich in an enzyme called nattokinase, which helps prevent blood clots and, as a result, can help lower high blood pressure.

7. Pure-fat butter

As it turns out, organic butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows is actually quite good for you. Researchers have found that the fatty acids in naturally processed butter may contain anti-carcinogenic properties, and, conversely, might even help lower cholesterol. Plus, without the saturated fat found in butter, the body is incapable of absorbing the carotenoids found in bright, colorful veggies. "So go ahead, eat butter," says Men's Health, "and do it without guilt."

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10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Hulu
Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

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NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
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Researchers in Singapore Deploy Robot Swans to Test Water Quality
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

There's something peculiar about the new swans floating around reservoirs in Singapore. They drift across the water like normal birds, but upon closer inspection, onlookers will find they're not birds at all: They're cleverly disguised robots designed to test the quality of the city's water.

As Dezeen reports, the high-tech waterfowl, dubbed NUSwan (New Smart Water Assessment Network), are the work of researchers at the National University of Singapore [PDF]. The team invented the devices as a way to tackle the challenges of maintaining an urban water source. "Water bodies are exposed to varying sources of pollutants from urban run-offs and industries," they write in a statement. "Several methods and protocols in monitoring pollutants are already in place. However, the boundaries of extensive assessment for the water bodies are limited by labor intensive and resource exhaustive methods."

By building water assessment technology into a plastic swan, they're able to analyze the quality of the reservoirs cheaply and discreetly. Sensors on the robots' undersides measure factors like dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll levels. The swans wirelessly transmit whatever data they collect to the command center on land, and based on what they send, human pilots can remotely tweak the robots' performance in real time. The hope is that the simple, adaptable technology will allow researchers to take smarter samples and better understand the impact of the reservoir's micro-ecosystem on water quality.

Man placing robotic swan in water.
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

This isn't the first time humans have used robots disguised as animals as tools for studying nature. Check out this clip from the BBC series Spy in the Wild for an idea of just how realistic these robots can get.

[h/t Dezeen]

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