The Big Five

You've heard of Deepak Chopra, I'm sure.  Being healthy, wealthy, and spiritual - he covers it all.  You could spend the next year of your life reading and listening to his work at ICPL.

Deepak’s brother, Sanjiv Chopra, is pretty special too.  Sanjiv is a professor at Harvard Medical School, and, like his brother, he’s authored many works.  Here are the two together in 1973.  Sanjiv is on the right. deepak-and-sanjiv

His latest is The big 5: five simple things you can do to live a longer, healthier life. I find it easy to overlook books like these. They're everywhere you look, and what does any one have to offer that ten or a hundred others do not?

Two of the big five, exercise and meditation, you’ll find almost anywhere.  I exercise but do not meditate.  How am I supposed to meditate when there’s Twitter?  Or podcasts?

Another one is Vitamin D.  Almost every organ in the human body requires Vitamin D to function properly.  It helps your body fight cancer, heal from injury, and to be less prone to heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD.  You get Vitamin D by eating fortified foods, taking a supplement, or by spending time in the sun.  I don’t take a supplement but get plenty of the other two. the-big-five

Eating nuts is worth your while too.  They’re full of proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants.  Heart health and lowering the likelihood of developing diabetes are two of the benefits.  I do well on this one, since I’m pretty much an almond fanatic.  I’m always working on a bag at work and at home.

Coffee is the last of the big five.  Or maybe it’s the first. Doctor Chopra gives coffee the opening chapter and this is from page two: “Coffee is really good for you... in fact, coffee actually may well be the healthiest beverage you can drink.”  Think about how awesome that is.

Coffee’s drawbacks, like insomnia, heartburn, and increased urination, are old news. Chopra gives us the good news.  Here are some things from which coffee offers protection: liver cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gallstones, and many types of cancer.  It improves both mental and physical performance.  People who drink coffee even tend to live longer.

So how much should you drink?  Unless it causes physical distress, Chopra argues, then have as much as you like.  For me, that’s about a pot a day.

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