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John La Puma MD is the leading physician voice for culinary medicine and nature therapy and an expert in well-being and nutrition.

8 Tips to Becoming an Informed Consumer of Health Information

Eat this, not that! Eat that, not this! One day a certain supplement or medication is great for you, but a week later you’re being advised not to take it… With so much confusing (and often conflicting) information flying around, how can you become an informed consumer of health information?

What I Taught at Harvard: The Science of Nature as Medicine (Video)

This is the 40 minute invited “The Science of Nature as Medicine”, guest lecture (zoom video) to Harvard’s “Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine” course I taught in January 2020, with 20 minutes of questions. Many of the references for the studies I cite can be found in the Nature Therapy Primer

Keeping a Diet Diary

There are dozens of reason why you’d want to keep a diet diary. Whether you need to monitor eating habits to manage a health condition or because you want to lose weight, keeping a diet diary is a powerful tool for gaining insight about what, when, and why you are

Planning for Your Best Health in 2020

Welcome to 2020. A new year and new—or renewed—resolutions. We’re two weeks in now, which is a crucial time that can make or break those resolutions we set back on the 1st. So it’s important to be planning for your best health in 2020 now. Whether you’re determined to manage

Festive Figs and Their Health Benefits

One of the most ubiquitous foods during the festive holiday season is the fig. After all, have you eaten figgy pudding at any other time of the year? ​​​​​​​ Thankfully for us, festive figs are a very healthy fruit with a plethora of health benefits. Fig antioxidants can enrich lipoproteins

Vitamin C for a Healthy Immune System

Next week is Christmas, and a fair few of us might find an orange at the bottom of our stockings. So in honor of the orange, today we’re paying tribute to the secret ingredient that makes it so special: vitamin C. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin

The Surprising Health Benefits of Pineapple

Who can resist the juicy, vibrant flavor of a sweet and tangy pineapple? Apparently, not many of us—this prickly plant often ranks as one of America’s most in-demand tropical fruits. But beneath its rough exterior, the pineapple is hiding more than just flavor. There are many health benefits to eating

The Health Benefits of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about giving thanks (it’s right there in the name!). We hear a lot these days about the benefits of gratitude—but what does the research have to say about it? Thankfully, all the studies seem to back up the idea that practicing gratitude has a multitude

How to Protect Your Gut from NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs (pronounced phonetically, as in “N”said), are non-opioid painkillers that can help produce relief from a number of maladies. My patients use them to treat muscle aches, back pain, arthritis/joint pain, menstrual cramps and more. Many options such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are

The Power of Potassium for Muscle and Nerve Function

Potassium is a mineral that, once inside the body, operates as an electrolyte and becomes essential to the maintenance of proper neural and muscle function. In partnership with sodium, it helps maintain fluid volume and pH balance, and creates what’s known as a concentration gradient that assists in heartbeat regulation

Natural Solutions for Digestive Troubles

Now that it’s November, the time of the year is swiftly approaching that involves eating, eating… and more eating. I love a good holiday meal as much as the next guy, but the temptation to over indulge (turkey! stuffing! potatoes! pie! okay, one more piece of pie…) can leave you

Diet Can Help Lift Depression

Several years ago, a woman named Barbara came to me for help with weight loss. At the time, she was 52 and she had gained nearly her age in weight (42 pounds) over the previous year. She was a biology professor and she’d been passed by for tenure for a

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