Good evening, everyone! Hope Wednesday has been good to you. If it hasn't, try to make Thursday a better day. So, moving to today's health news, here is the first article of the day! It's regarding a recently published book by a Stanford doctoral candidate in which she explores how popular diet books impact society's views of health. For example, you may have heard of the "paleo" diet, which has become trendy of late. This may be overly simple, but it basically advocates eating "like a caveman". This is supposedly a more natural and healthy diet, though, as with all diets, this is disputed. The author, Adrienne Johnson, looks at how this and other trendy diets "leverage various myths of human origins to associate health with the way our ancestors lived". It's certainly admirable to "think outside the box" in an effort to come up with new solutions, but remember, our ancestors had far shorter life expectancy than we do today. While we want to solve our modern problems of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc., do we really think the answer is to eat the diet of people who didn't live to see 30 and 40 years old? Anyway, sounds like an interesting book! Next up, on Monday I linked you to the DASH diet, which was top-ranked again by U.S. News and World Report. Today, here's a link to a piece about the MIND diet. MIND stands for Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and is designed to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease. It was ranked as the easiest to follow diet, as well as having other key benefits. This is a page that describes and summarizes the MIND diet. Continuing, here's another article looking at doctors and scientists who are trying to figure out how to personalize your diet. They even developed an algorithm that would predict blood sugar responses for foods patients hadn't eaten yet! Their focus is on DNA, your gut microbiome, body type, and chemical exposures in fine-tuning a person's diet. It's good to see a scientific approach being taken rather than the "one-size-fits-all" approach, which we've seen doesn't work. Moving on, so you're trying to involve more vegetables in your diet? Here's a link that will show you the best ways to cut up those healthy veggies. In other news, I guess school's back in session at Stanford, as a 2nd article today comes from findings made there. This study looked at the microbes present in modern people's guts, and their dwindling nature. These microbes play a vital role in your immune system, and health in general, and due to our comparatively low-fiber diets(1/10 the fiber of hunter/gatherer societies), they are rapidly disappearing. The scientists' solution? Don't wash your hands after gardening, or playing with/walking the dog, etc. This will help introduce "friendly" bacteria into your body, increasing the health of your microbiome, and your whole person. Sounds appetizing, I know. Sometimes, the solution is counterintuitive. Well, that's it for today, folks! Hope there's something here you can use, even if it is just an excuse to not wash your hands! Be healthy, my friends!