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Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – Spring Cleaning!

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How to Spot the Signs of a Stroke

Poor heart-health habits could put you at risk for a stroke. Learn early warning signs and what to do about them.
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Friday, May 01, 2015
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See What Happens With a Stroke

Poor heart-health habits could put you at risk for a stroke. Learn early warning signs and what to do about them.
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What you may have missed in April

Here is a recap of the April news from Harvard Health Publications.
May 1, 2015
Harvard Medical School

What you might have missed in April

Here is a recap of the April news from Harvard Health Publications.

Featured Blog Posts

Physical therapy as good as surgery and less risky for one type of lower back pain

More than a stretch: Yoga's benefits may extend to the heart

Mobility and Independence
Mobility and Independence, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, will help you maintain your mobility and safeguard your independence. It will give you recommendations for exercise, diet, preventive care, and lifestyle choices that will keep you stronger and steadier with fewer aches and more stamina. Plus, you'll get advice for aging in place, adapting and fall-proofing your home, choosing services, and more.

Read More

HEALTHbeat Issues

Dietary supplements for cholesterol: Are any worth a try?
Various herbs and other supplements have been touted for their ability to improve cholesterol levels. Here's what the research shows — and doesn't show — about some of the best-known products. Read more »

Grapefruit juice and statins
Q&A: I've heard that people shouldn't drink grapefruit juice if they're taking a statin. Why? Read more »

6 ways to ease neck pain
Neck pain usually evolves over time. And it may be spurred by arthritis or degenerative disc disease and accentuated by poor posture, declining muscle strength, stress, and even a lack of sleep. These six tips can help you take care of your neck. Read more »

4 ways to put off joint replacement
Before you have surgery to replace an aching joint with an artificial one, try extending the life of your own natural joints by losing weight, protecting your joints, trying medical treatment, and getting effective pain relief. Read more »

Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain
If you're having the occasional twinge of joint pain when you go for a walk or climb stairs, or you're worried about arthritis because a parent had it, one step toward prevention is to check your weight. Read more »

Good balance requires mental and physical fitness
Maintaining mental fitness as well as remaining physically active can help you keep your balance and avoid stumbling. Read more »

Regular exercise reduces falls and fractures
Even if you're older, exercise is still a great way to protect your bones. The physical stress placed on bones during exercise stimulates the growth of new bone tissue. Read more »

Managing Your Cholesterol
Managing Your Cholesterol offers up-to-date information to help you or a loved one keep cholesterol in check. The report spells out what are healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and offers specific ways to keep cholesterol in line. It covers cholesterol tests and the genetics of cholesterol. The report also focuses on treatments based on the latest scientific evidence, including the pros and cons of statins and other medications, and provides the lowdown on other substances advertised to lower cholesterol. Managing Your Cholesterol can also help you work with your doctor to individualize your treatment.

Read More

Benefits of flexibility exercises
Activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help you prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems. Read more »

Is it just midlife, or is your thyroid slowing down?
Maybe you're feeling tired, having trouble concentrating, noticing changes in your hair or weight, or just feeling blah. These symptoms can be signs of a sluggish thyroid. Read more »

Stroke: Know when to act, and act quickly
Identifying and treating a stroke as quickly as possible can save brain cells, function, and lives. Everyone should know the warning signs of a stroke and when to get help fast. Read more »

Controlling your weight is key to lowering stroke risk
There is a lot you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke. Even if you've already had a stroke or TIA ("mini-stroke"), you can take steps to prevent another. Read more »

Trying to be perfect can cause anxiety
No one is "perfect." Yet many people struggle to be, which can trigger a cascade of anxieties. Read more »

5 exercises to improve hand mobility and reduce pain
If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion. Read more »

How stretching keeps your joints moving
Stretching exercises can help extend your range of motion. This is how your joints, tendons, and ligaments work together to make this happen. Read more »

Stretch to ease screen-time-related neck and shoulder pain
A study from the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Microsoft showed that holding a tablet too low in your lap can strain neck muscles. Good ergonomics, regular posture checks, and flexibility exercises designed with the deskbound in mind can help correct these problems. Read more »

News from Harvard Health

Start planning now for long-term care
It's important to plan now for long-term care that may be needed later in life. Types of long-term care include private-duty care at home, adult day care centers, assisted living, and nursing homes. Read more »

Silent ischemia poses a threat to the heart
When the heart temporarily gets less blood than it needs, it's known as cardiac ischemia. Often the result of clogged heart arteries, ischemia can cause chest pain (angina). Read more »

Stop restless legs syndrome from stealing sleep
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) involves uncomfortable sensations in the legs at night and an irresistible urge to move them, which can disturb sleep. Read more »

Are you getting enough exercise?
Intensity and duration of both cardiovascular exercise and strength training determine how effective a workout is. Read more »

Whole grains may benefit your heart and lengthen your life
Whole-grain foods offer nutritional benefits beyond just the fiber from the outer layer. The nutrients and compounds from all parts of the grain offer a wide range of cardiovascular benefits and have been linked to longer life. Read more »

Check milk substitute labels to know what you are getting
People who are unable to or don't want to drink cow's milk have alternatives, such as milks made from grains, nuts, and soy. Read more »

Older brains can be better, smarter brains
As we age, the brain compensates for slower processing by using more of its capacity for tasks that require reasoning and judgment. Read more »

How to benefit from a low-glycemic diet
A lower-glycemic-index diet reduces sudden increases in blood sugar. To get the benefits of such a diet without having to look up the glycemic index of foods, cut back on white flour and white rice, white potatoes, and added sugars. Read more »

Featured in this issue

Mobility and Independence Read More

Mobility and Independence

Featured content:

Mobility and quality of life
Prime movers: Knees and hips
A good foundation: Feet and ankles
Equipment: Choosing the right stuff
A stable support: Your back and posture
•  ... and more!

Click here to read more »
Read More

Managing Your Cholesterol

Featured content:

Cholesterol in the body
The cholesterol connection
What causes heart disease
Why treat cholesterol?
Your cholesterol test
•  ... and more!

Click here to read more »
Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 50 health topics.
Visit our website at to find reports of interest to you and your family.

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Copyright © 2015 by Harvard University.
Harvard Health Publications, 10 Shattuck Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA

* Please note, we do not provide responses to personal medical concerns, nor can we supply related medical information other than what is available in our print products or website. For specific, personalized medical advice we encourage you to contact your physician.

Soy Protein Benefits That Are Good For Health

By Iva Cannon

It is common knowledge that soybeans or anything made out of it is healthy because it contains a multitude of nutrients. Of course foods that are made out of this plant or this bean can be found almost everywhere like in tofu, in milk, and in other things. Of course just for the knowledge of the people, here are a few soy protein benefits to take note of.

Now most people would associate proteins with meat because meat is said to contain a lot of these nutrients. Well in fact, meat does have a lot of it but soy is also said to have an equal amount as meat along with the other nutrients that meat would have. The great thing about this substitute is that it does not contain the same amount of fat like meat does.

Now another great thing about this type of food would be that it can actually lower cholesterol. Now do take note that there are two types of cholesterol in the body namely the LDL which is the bad one, and the HDL which is the good one. The one that is lowered would be the LDL cholesterol while the HDL cholesterol will not decrease because the body needs it.

Now if one would lower his LDL cholesterol, then he would also be able to prevent certain heart conditions. Actually, most heart conditions or diseases are a result of the increase of LDL cholesterol that can be found inside the body. Of course if one would have a lower level of the LDL cholesterol, then he will definitely have a lower risk of heart diseases.

Now it is common knowledge that this type of food would contain a lot of amino acids. Because of the presence of these amino acids, the effectiveness of other foods and vitamins would actually increase by a huge amount. Soy can actually help the body be able to absorb the nutrients of other food or supplements easier.

Now it is also discovered that soy would also help with the aiding of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. In fact, the protein that would come from the soybeans is actually healthier than the ones that would come from the animals. Do take note that because Asians would take a lot of soy, they would actually have stronger bones as compared to the Western counterparts.

Of course soy would also be very beneficial for the body builders and gym people out there. Of course there are a lot of soy powder products that can be found out there in the market. Soy protein is said to be better than whey because it is has a lot more protein than whey and the effects are longer lasting.

So as one can see, there are actually a lot of benefits that one can derive from this. Not only do they aid those who would want to be healthier but they also aid those who want to become fitter. This is definitely an amazing food that one should incorporate in his diet.

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How Assisted Living Facilities Enumclaw Service Can Benefit You

By Alta Alexander

Old age is always a challenging period. Part of the reason that makes this time hard is the fact that most people are not able to do most of the basic things. However, there are other cases where you might also need assisted living facilities Enumclaw service. Disability and accidents are just some of the situation that may leave you helpless in such cases. It is always important that you seek these services since they can be very useful.

It is always important that you first know how and why you should go about investing. For many people, it is always very confusing. However, the idea that you should make use of is research. Always make sure that you do research so that you end up with a facility that works for you. Otherwise it is always very hard when you blindly hire since chances are that the services will not work for you.

The most important thing which you should always remember is that you should put the needs of the person in mind. This is because this is the person who will live at the facility. Therefore, while looking at some of the things that you want, do not forget their needs. Make sure that the needs of the person are taken care of at the facility since this is the most important thing.

Sometimes you may find that you need additional services. This is common since many people may want other services such as healthcare. Most of the facilities actually offer these services. The one thing you should avoid is making an assumption. You can never be sure unless you confirm. Therefore, it never hurts to first ask if they are available before you make a choice.

While hiring any service, the first thing that you should know is budgeting is important. The truth is that if you do not have a budget of the amount of money that you would want to spend, then it may be hard. Always budget for the services. While at it avoid investing in the cheapest services so that you do not make a mistake.

With lots of facilities out there, there are many things that you might want to know. The one thing that could help you is other people who have hired such services. For instance, you could ask friends who have sought such services in the past. Let them give you information on how the services work.

Once you have settled for a particular facility, it is wise that you go there and see the services for yourself. Sometimes you might find facilities that claim to be good but they offer nothing close to quality. Therefore, confirming this is important.

As long as you invest in the right facility, the benefits are many. Do not hesitate. At least now you have the basic information that comes in handy while hiring.

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A Fitness Novice's Guide To Picking The Right Fitness Center

By Alta Alexander

Getting in shape and then staying there can be hard work. Unless you are lucky enough and creative enough to find a great home exercise routine, the chances are good that you will be spending a lot of time in a fitness center. Memberships can be expensive and so it is critical that you find the right gym for you. Here are some things to consider that may make this process easier.

There has been an increase over the years in single-gender fitness facilities. This is because an increasing number of people are beginning to prefer working out only around women or only around men. Some gyms that are dual-gender have sections that are reserved for one sex or the other. This may be something to consider if you are uncomfortable with the idea of working out around the opposite sex.

Some individuals have very specific preferences when it comes to how they work out. They may primarily be interested in weight lifting, for example, while other people may want to take yoga or aerobics classes. Still other people prefer to use machines such as stair climbers or treadmills. If you fall into this category, it is a good idea to make sure that you have access to them at any fitness facility that you join. If there is not a class or a machine that you like, you may want to find out if there are any plans to get them in the future.

If you are someone who likes to come up with excuses about not being able to make it to the gym, location of the facility is very important. Make sure it is near where you work or where you live. Also check out the hours to make sure that it is open when you have time to work out. Some will be open 24 hours a day, which will ensure that no matter when you work you will be able to exercise.

Many people want to make going to the gym a family affair. If you have young children, are there classes or activities that they can participate in? If you have very young children, you may want to look for a facility that has childcare on premises. This can make it much easier to get out of the house and fit in a work out.

A pool may or may not be a deal-breaker. If you love to swim, it can be good to make sure you will be able to do this at the gym you join. Also make sure that the times for lane swimming or other fitness activities works with your schedule. If you can't make it to swim you may end up swearing off the facility altogether.

For some individuals, accountability is an issue. For others, it is knowledge of how to exercise safely and effectively. If either of these sounds like you, choosing a facility with personal trainers will be important. You want to make sure that there is someone there to keep you on track if you need some help.

Nothing beats actually attending a facility when it comes time to make your ultimate decision. Do not be afraid to ask about visitors passes or whether or not you can try the facility at a reduced rate. Most gyms will want to make sure that you are comfortable there.

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