[COLUMN] The healthiest…

…AND wisest thing to do with the present scary global and domestic outbreaks of measles is to be vaccinated soonest, if your vaccine is not current. Measles could lead to blindness, encephalitis, pneumonia (common among children under 5 and adults over 20) and could be deadly (with a mortality rate as high as 15 percent). Are you current on your MMR vaccines?


The healthiest habits: eating a healthy diet, avoiding/minimizing intake of sugar and sweets, drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water, exercising daily, and sleeping 8 hours (when possible) daily; taking mini vacation/staycation to de-stress, doing charity work, and having regular medical/dental checkups.


The healthiest fruits are lemons, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, limes, grapefruits, blackberries, avocados, apples, pomegranates, pineapples and bananas.


Asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, garlic, kale, bok choy and cabbage.


Besides pure filtered water, milk, coffee, tea, kombucha and vegetable smoothies are the healthiest drinks. The worst beverages are soft drinks – they are poison to our body, especially to children, increasing the drinkers’ risk for metabolic syndrome. Thirst quencher sport drinks, like Gatorade and others, contribute to childhood obesity. Drinking hot water upon rising in the morning is healthiest, instead of cold drinks.


Non-drug is the healthiest: Gardening, swimming, volleyball, skiing/snowboarding, horseback riding, hiking, yoga, paddling, meditation. Find a practical choice for yourself and your circumstance.


Healthiest: Swimming, tai-chi, tai-bo, normal or brisk walking (jogging eventually damages joints). Personally, I find tai-bo a personal preference, tailoring duration and intensity to what my senior body could take and endure with safety.


The healthiest: the Mediterranean Diet – a plant-based diet of a lot of variety of vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices. Fish, other seafood, lean beef, lean poultry, a glass or two of wine with dinner, and sweets sparingly. Besides quality of food items, quantity is vital to good health, and a joyful mindset during meals, with family and friends. Maintain a normal weight and live longer.


The healthiest attitude includes waking up cheerful, being positive and always hopeful, loving, and compassionate, forgiving, showing courage under fire, with malice towards none, bringing your own sunshine to people everywhere you go.

Brain exercise

The healthiest: Solving memory games, jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle, reading stimulating books, writing letters/stories, playing chess, sports competitions for seniors, social interactions with people. Traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people stimulate the mind.

Active joints

The healthiest exercise that minimizes damage to the spine, hip, knee, and ankle joints are walking, bicycling, swimming, and water aerobics. Jogging is becoming less popular because it has been linked to damage of the hip, knee, and ankle joints over time.

Sleep apnea

The healthiest way to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), frequent prolonged breath-holding while asleep resulting in hypoxemia (low blood oxygen level), is with the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. Using items advertised as treatment (nose clips, mouth guard, medications, etc.) are unhealthy and dangerous. CPAP addresses the pathology of OSA and effectively keeps the collapsing airway passage in the throat wide open with air pressure for normal air exchange. Don’t be fooled by advertisements. Surgically implanted Inspire is only (a second choice) for those who cannot tolerate CPAP, which is the gold standard in the treatment of OSA.

Cities in the world

The top eight healthiest (and happiest) cities: Copenhagen, Denmark; Frankfurt, Germany; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Helsinki, Finland; Berlin, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Fukuoka, Japan; and Geneva, Switzerland. The people of the United States were the unhappiest in 50 years, according to the mid-2020 study by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Cities in the U.S.

The ten healthiest cities in the United States, according to the Mindbody + Class Pass Annual Wellness Index, in this order: San Francisco, not the safest but ranked the healthiest; Miami, Florida; San Diego, CA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago (the murder capital?), Illinois; Albuquerque, NM; Los Angeles, CA, (despite air pollution?); New York, NY; Oakland, CA; and Tampa, FL.

And finally, I challenge all of you and your loved ones to enjoy life and be the healthiest and happiest possible!

Warning on supplements

Calcium and vitamin D supplements are often prescribed for postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss.

A clinical study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine reports that “women who took calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 7% lower risk of death from cancer but a 6% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.”

“Our study, which included 36,000 postmenopausal women, also found an 11% lower risk for total cancer, including 31% and 19% lower incidences of colorectal cancer and invasive breast cancer,” the study authors wrote.

Some supplements to discuss with your physician for approval: Protein collagen, Vitamin D3, prebiotics and probiotics, zinc to boost the immune system, multivitamins and minerals for seniors and poor eaters, folic acid and B12 for those on anti-reflux (GERD) medications, and potassium-magnesium capsules for those on water pills.

All other supplements and herbals, although sold over-the-counter, should be taken with the knowledge of your physician. Some of them may not be compatible with your prescription medications and pose dangers to your health.

Each individual is different and reacts to medications differently. Discuss any concerns with your attending physician, who is your best ally when it comes to your health and well-being.

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The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. He was a recipient of the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 1995. Other Sagamore past awardees include President Harry Truman, President George HW Bush, Muhammad Ali, and Astronaut Gus Grissom (Wikipedia). Websites: FUN8888.com, Today.SPSAtoday.com, and philipSchua.com; Email: [email protected].


Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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