Presented by a trusted expert, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra’s The Big Five includes easily digestible data and startling results from real studies conducted by reputable universities and involving thousands of subjects.
1. Coffee–a cup of health
Coffee is really good for you. I make that statement as a physician and liver specialist. In fact, coffee actually may well be the healthiest beverage you can drink.
Incredible as it may seem, coffee also appears to make you smarter, can improve physical performance and even helps burn fat. It can be used to treat headaches, and, contrary to conventional wisdom, it appears to lower the risk of being hospitalized for arrhythmia.
Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing cirrhosis, cancer of the liver, and type 2 diabetes.
2. The mysterious case of Vitamin D
If the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes was instead a scientist, undoubtedly he would have been fascinated by… The strange case of Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is an imposter; it is disguised as a vitamin. Not only that, its value is cloaked in mystery: While we know what it does, we have little evidence of its actual effect. There really is only one thing about this substance that we know for certain: Everybody needs it, and many people need a lot more than they’re getting in their diet.
The sunshine vitamin is the latest hot new thing in medicine
This once staid substance is suddenly at the center of a large amount of speculation and research.
There have been many intriguing reults of studies linking a vitamin D3 deficiency to a great variety of illnesses, from depression to cancer–although as yet there is very little causual evidence. Conversely, it may also offer protection from a range of other illnesses from the flu to heart disease.
Many doctors now recommend that their patients–especially those patients at high risk for a deficiency, including women at menopause; dark-skinned, veiled women; people with multiple fractures; pregnant or breast-feeding women; and those with inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease–be screened by a blood test periodically for blood levels of vitamin D3, although there is no consensus on what a normal range should be.
3. Run (or walk) for your life!
As a physician, perhaps the best advice I can give to my patient is, ‘Move! Move! And keep moving! It is indisputable that people who exercise regularly live healthier and longer and lives.
Exercise is the best “drug”. It has powerful lifesaving effects for people with serious chronic conditions.
In studies regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of premature death; assist in weight control; and lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cognitive decline and depression, certain types of cancer, osteoporosis, and bone fractures, and even sexual dysfunction.
4. Nuts to you!
A hundred years ago famed agricultural scientist Luther Burbank wrote, ” The chemical analysis of their [nuts] constituents shows that they are in the main highly concentrated foods, having little waste aside from their shells. They contain all the important constituents of diet–proteins, fats, and carbohydrates–and are thus in themselves capable of sustaining life. They do not contain the various elements in proper proportion, however, to make them suitable for an exclusive diet.”
Nuts are a powerhouse of nutrition and provide a wide array of health benefits.
5. Meditate once a day–twice
There is a story told about a very learned man who once was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?”
The wise man shook his head and responded, “Nothing.” And then he added, “But let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”