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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.

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

‘Tis the Season for: Soups!

I find soups especially satisfying this time of year. They’re warming, as nutrient packed as you want them to be, and since they’re the original one-pot meal, typically pretty simple to put together. Below, you’ll find three of my favorite soup recipes, which you can follow to a tee or

The Cancer Fighting Properties of Green Tea

When it comes to tea, the more pure the leaf in your brew, the better the health benefits—and green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves, which do not go through an oxidation process, have the richest nutrient profile among all varieties of tea. Research shows that people who drink four or more

How To Do a Breast Self-Exam

Performing a breast self-exam (BSE) at least once per month is the best way to detect a lump or other abnormality. It is best to do a BSE the same time every month. For those who are menstruating, choose a time in the month after your cycle completes. How to

The Health Benefits of Cabbage

Some folks might be surprised to learn that cabbage is not actually in the same category as lettuce, despite their similar appearance. Cabbage is cousin to kale and broccoli and is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Varying in color from pale green to red and purple, cabbage contains a

What is Green RX? 5 Parts

Green Rx is a nature-based prescription. It can include 5 (five) parts: A. lower-on-the-food-chain-food (e.g. grown, harvested, minimally processed, cooked locally), B. nature therapy (from forest bathing to surf therapy to therapeutic gardening to time with animals), C. aromatherapy, D. dietary supplements, especially botanicals, and E. bringing the outside in.

Herbs to Avoid When Pregnant

Because herbs come from nature, many people believe they’re safe to take at any time. But that’s simply not true. There are certain herbs you should avoid when pregnant or trying to become pregnant. In fact, many herbs should not be taken while trying to conceive, during pregnancy, or post-partum

Fermented Foods

If you’re looking to introduce more foods into your diet that promote gut health, fermented foods are an excellent way to go. Nutrient-potent and ranging in flavor from tangy to bitterly-sweet, these foods originated decades ago in the cultures of Japan, China, India, and Germany. Fermenting imbues foods with the

National Lemonade Day & The Health Benefits of Lemons

As you may know by now, there’s a holiday for almost everything these days—and today is no exception: Happy National Lemonade Day! While lemonade itself can be a sugar bomb, I’ll happily espouse the health benefits of its number 1 ingredient: the lemon. This sour fruit packs a punch when

Low-FODMAP Diet for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Digestive complaints are among the most common health concerns, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes. If you’re experiencing distress, and you’ve determined after my previous article on IBS that you want to do something to mitigate your symptoms, the low-FODMAP diet is a

Strategies for Dealing with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

When the smooth rhythm of the muscles of the digestive tract is disrupted—either moving too quickly or too slowly—we experience digestive distress. For some of us, this distress can be frequent and painful, creating a major disruption in our life and in our lifestyle. Several health conditions are marked by

Confused about Your Symptoms? Keep a Symptom Journal

If you’re confused about or exasperated by persistent symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, keeping a symptom journal is one of the most effective ways you can help yourself and your doctor. Whether you have a known medical condition or are experiencing vague clusters of symptoms that don’t

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