New books extract actionable tips from the world of health-focused research.
Erik Vance. National Geographic, Nov.
Science journalist Vance looks at the roles expectation and self-deception play in our mental and physical health, touching on such topics as the placebo effect, hypnosis, and alternative medicine. His driving question: Can our suggestibility be harnessed to bring about real change in our minds and bodies?
The Salt Fix
James DiNicolantonio. Harmony, Apr. 2017
Few health dicta are safe for long, and the long-standing wisdom about minimizing salt intake comes under scrutiny in this book by DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy who argues that salt serves numerous functions, such as helping the body to fend off illness, and that eating too little of it can increase hunger or even elevate blood pressure.
The Telomere Effect
Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel. Grand Central, Jan. 2017
Blackburn, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for her discovery of telomeres—think of them as protective caps for DNA—and coauthor Epel, a noted health psychologist, shed light on how nourishing these genetic structures, through diet and lifestyle habits, can help improve health and combat aging.