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A plant-based diet may have seemed extreme years ago, but today it’s all the rage — and for good reason. In many ways the planet and human health are in trouble, and a plant-centric diet is one way to address both issues.

More than 10,000 studies in peer-reviewed medical journals show that a diet based on whole plant foods leads to higher life expectancy and lower rates of cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and most other chronic ailments. “If you eat the standard American diet, you’re going to get the