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3 Reasons to Eat Soy

Whole soy foods can protect against disease, provide nutritional benefits, and taste great in a variety of dishes! Learn what makes soy so healthful, and ways to use this versatile food.

One of the healthiest changes you can make to your diet is to incorporate whole soy foods on a regular basis. Soy:

  1. Is rich in protein, iron and compounds called isoflavones, which seem to protect against hormone-driven cancers such as prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
  2. Helps protect your heart.
  3. May help protect against lung cancer.

I recommend one to two daily servings of soy in relatively whole and unrefined forms such as a half-cup of tofu, tempeh, green soybeans (edamame) or roasted soy nuts. You can also easily swap meat for tofu in dishes - baked tofu works well as a meat replacement in fajitas, stir fries and casseroles.

Get your soy with this tasty Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry recipe!


Want to Improve Your Abdominals?

Want to stretch and strengthen your hip flexors and abdominals? Try this yoga pose! There are variations for different levels, so most everyone can enjoy its benefits.

Yoga can help tone and strengthen all parts of the body, including internal organs. The Full Boat Pose is an abdominal and deep hip flexor and strengthener, requiring you to balance on the tripod formed by your sitting bones and tailbone.

The benefits of the Full Boat may include:

  • Strengthened abdomen, hip flexors, and spine
  • Stimulation of the kidneys, intestines and thyroid and prostate glands
  • Stress relief
  • Improved digestion

There are variations, including one you can perform while sitting at your desk! Learn more about this pose, including what it looks like, how to properly execute it, and who this pose may not be right for. Click here to see the Full Boat Pose.


Dr. Weil’s Pick for a Heart-Healthy Fish

One of Dr. Weil’s favorite foods, wild-caught Alaskan salmon provides key nutritional benefits with every bite. Find out what makes it so healthy – especially when it comes to the health of your heart!

Salmon - particularly wild-caught Alaskan salmon and canned sockeye salmon - is one of Dr. Weil's favorite foods. Salmon is readily available fresh, frozen and canned, making it a versatile choice, and it can be easily prepared to satisfy a wide variety of individual tastes. But the most compelling reason to eat salmon regularly is its nutritional benefits, including:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, the anti-inflammatory, essential fats our bodies need for optimum health. Omega-3s from eating salmon and other oily fish offer protection against heart attack, stroke, cancer, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and mental and emotional problems.
  • High-quality protein. A bonus is that salmon offers an abundance of quality protein: roughly 22 grams for every 100-gram serving.

Aim for two to six servings of wild-caught salmon per week, and use healthful cooking methods such as baking, broiling, poaching, or steaming. If you don't eat fish, you can opt for a high-quality fish oil.


Are You at Risk for Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a diagnosis no woman wants to hear. To help lower your risk, use these suggestions.

Cervical dysplasia is abnormal cell growth in the uterine cervix considered to be precancerous. The condition is commonly caused by infection with certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). A vaccine to protect against this viral infection is approved for females ages 9 to 26, and may be approved for older women as well.

There are no symptoms of cervical dysplasia. While the vaccine may help prevent infection, a regular Pap smear is the best way to detect its presence. You can be affected by cervical dysplasia even if you've been vaccinated. To help reduce the risk of cervical dysplasia, you should:

1.   Practice safe sex if you are sexually active (abstinence also reduces the chances of exposure to HPV).

2.   Follow a healthy diet that includes generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, especially those in the cabbage family.

3.   Get regular exercise.

4.   Be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin B6 in your diet, or supplement with a multivitamin or B complex.


Do You Have a Creased Earlobe?

If you have a creased earlobe, you may have read about studies over the past few years that looked at the link between creased earlobes and heart disease risk. Learn more about the findings, and what Dr. Weil says about the connection – or lack of one.

If you have ever heard that a crease in the earlobes - specifically one that runs diagonally - indicates an increased risk of heart disease, you aren't alone. More than 30 studies over the past few decades have examined whether an earlobe crease is a sign of heart disease or suggests a higher-than-normal risk of heart trouble.

The good news is that there's no medical consensus on whether or not an earlobe crease is a meaningful marker for the presence of heart disease or a propensity toward it. Some studies have found an association between earlobe creases and heart disease and some have not, leading to the conclusion that the prevalence of earlobe creases probably increases with age, as does heart disease.

So if you do have a creased earlobe, don't fret - but it is prudent for everyone, creased lobes or not, to take preventive steps when it comes to heart disease: eat a heart healthy diet like my Anti-Inflammatory Diet; consider taking a fish oil supplement; manage lifestyle risk factors by getting regular exercise and not smoking; and know your personal history of heart disease and discuss it with your doctor.


Feeling Achy? Try Eating These Foods

If suffering from joint pain is a common start to your day, consider adding these foods to your diet. Each can help to address the pain and symptoms associated with stiff, painful joints.

If your mornings begin with stiffness, pain and swollen joints, you may be experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis. In addition to getting regular exercise (low-impact is the best) and maintaining a healthy weight, consider the following nutritional strategies to help prevent or lessen symptoms.

1.   Eat foods rich in antioxidants. A variety of colors of fresh organic fruits and vegetables are good sources, and may help reduce tissue damage from inflammation.

2.   Get enough omega-3s. The omega-3 fatty acids provided in oily fish (such as wild Alaskan salmon), walnuts and freshly ground flaxseed might help reduce the inflammation and pain of arthritis.

3.   Regularly use ginger and turmeric in cooking and/or supplements for their natural anti-inflammatory properties.


Do You Know What Stress Can Do to Your Health?

Occasional stress is a part of every life, and can help you focus and take action. But chronic stress can lead to disease and disorder. Learn more about chronic stress, including ways to address it naturally.

Chronic overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system is often the consequence of our reaction to daily challenges. The result is similar to chronic inflammation, in that stress can contribute to diseases and disorders including:

  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Hypertension
  • Immune suppression
  • Gastrointestinal ailments
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Defensiveness
  • Isolation
  • Sexual dysfunction

Regular physical activity, such as a daily brisk walk, is undoubtedly the best way to help maintain balance of the nervous system and overall health. You also can help manage unhealthy stress with mind-body therapies such as breath work, meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, heart rate variability training and visualization. Yoga and tai chi, as well as bodywork such as massage and Trager work can also help. Getting quality sleep is essential as well. Find a stress-relieving activity that works for you, and make it a priority to practice it regularly.


What Makes Lemons So Healthy?

Lemons are in-season now – learn more about why you should eat lemons, and try our tasty Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe!

Available year-round, lemons are at their peak in May - just in time for homemade lemonade. A citrus fruit, lemons are a good source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps to keep the immune system strong.

Lemons come in both sour (Eureka and Lisbon) and relatively sweet (Meyer) varieties. Look for a lemon that is heavy for its size, which indicates less skin and more flesh. The peel should have a finely grained texture and be fully yellow. You can use both the flesh and the peel (as a zest if the lemon is organic) in all types of dishes, so enjoy - we like them in the Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe.

And don't limit the lemons to cooking - lemons make an effective, natural cleaning product for your home. To clean and polish wood furniture, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to 10 drops of (real) lemon oil and a few drops of jojoba oil.

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