Healthy No Matter What
How Humans Are Hardwired to Adapt
A provocative manifesto that teaches you how to take control of your own health, no matter your age or circumstances—from an innovative doctor and his philosopher daughter
“If you care about your health or the well-being of others, read this book.”—Ethan Kross, author of Chatter
Dr. Alex Jadad is the creator of the Jadad scale, which has become the world’s most widely used methodology to assess the quality of clinical trials, and his daughter Tamen Jadad-Garcia is a health entrepreneur and philosopher. Here they combine their expertise to uncover the medical system’s unstable foundations, which condemn you to be ill. The Jadads begin this exploration with a simple question: “What is health?”
Through engaging stories and case studies, the Jadads expand the understanding of health beyond the medical industrial complex. They show how distant connections in your personal networks can influence key aspects of yourself, like your weight, anxiety, and addictions; how reliance on medications can be reduced by intentionally designing the places where you live, work, and play; and how comparisons with peers can shorten your life.
In this practical guide, the meaning of health is redefined, putting you in the driver’s seat and recognizing you as the most effective evaluator. Building on data and experiences from millions of people around the world, the book reveals that a healthy life is possible even with complex chronic conditions or terminal illnesses. The Jadads explain why perceiving yourself as unhealthy might actually be fatal, and how you can monitor your true health and boost it in practically any context, no matter your cultural background or socioeconomic circumstances.
With wisdom and empathy, Healthy No Matter What teaches you how your natural gift of adaptability equips you to overcome any obstacle, provides actionable pointers, and shows how and when to use the medical system, so that you can thrive, regardless of the twists and turns life may take.
In this competent program, physician Jadad (The Feast of Our Life) and his daughter Jadad-Garcia (Everything You Need to Know About Love ), a philosopher, offer guidance on how to use humanity's "natural gift of adaptation" to lead a healthy life. The authors encourage readers to view health as the ability to "adapt to the inevitable physical, mental, and social challenges" of life, and provide advice on how to enhance this ability. Humans are naturally adaptive, the authors contend, as exemplified by their capacity to develop language and cultures that enable communal problem-solving and the transmission of knowledge. Jadad and Jadad-Garcia suggest that the "biggest threat to adaptability" is a "toxic stress load," which refers to the physical toll taken by long-term stress. Examining studies on those with long life spans, the authors attribute longevity to regular exercise, modest portions at meals, and active social support systems. The research is robust, but the focus on adaptability sometimes leads to awkward wording that obscures the straightforwardness of the advice, as when they tout the importance of having close friends by discussing the "capacity to supercharge the adaptive potential of your personal social networks." Still, readers will appreciate the sound suggestions.