Building Blocks of Health

Reverse much of the lifestyle-related damage to health

In his book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Wellness with a Lifestyle Checklist, preventive medicine expert J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH, describes why most of us have a lifestyle that harms our health. He documents that by following his Lifestyle Checklist, we can put in place the Building Blocks of Health and reverse much of the lifestyle-related damage to health that leads to illness and premature death. Based on more than 2000 articles from the medical literature, the book lays out the scientific basis of why adopting healthier ways of eating, exercising, and living prevents disease, optimizes, and maintains health.

 Readers will learn:

  • Why the lifestyle of 95% of Americans is unhealthy.
  • That a healthy lifestyle can prevent 90% of diabetes, 80% of heart disease, and nearly 50% of cancers.
  • That an optimal lifestyle can add 10 to 15 years to life.
  • That multiple behavioral factors are necessary to keep us healthy––they are the Building Blocks of Health.
  • How to use a Lifestyle Checklist to adopt and stick to the behaviors needed to become and stay healthy.

Many books on health focus on a single topic such as nutrition or heart disease but The Building Blocks of Health documents why you can’t rely on doing just one thing, like getting a lot of exercise, or avoiding just one risky behavior, like not smoking, to get and stay healthy.  Multiple factors are at work to make us sick or keep us healthy.

Each of the book’s 16 chapters focuses on an important health-related topic. The book provides the reader with the information needed to choose optimally healthy whole-food plant-based nutrition; guidance on how to reverse and avoid overweight and obesity; a description of beneficial and harmful vitamins and other dietary supplements; how to prevent heart attacks and stroke; how to prevent cancer; and how to avoid Alzheimer disease and other causes of dementia. The book emphasizes the benefits of exercise and other forms of physical activity and explains how to avoid COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Additional chapters cover stress and mental health, osteoporosis, sexual and reproductive health, environmental toxins, and other topics, including the benefits of sleep, preserving eyesight, preserving hearing, and accident prevention.

Everyone should read this book because almost all of us have an unhealthy lifestyle that makes us ill and contributes to early deaths. The book provides the health-preserving information doctors would tell their patients––if only they had enough time to provide good counseling about an optimally healthy lifestyle.  The behaviors described in The Building Blocks of Health are highly effective in restoring and maintaining health. Our bodies have a remarkable power to heal when we stop the biological damage caused by our unhealthy lifestyle.





Finally, an up to date, science-based book about your health that is very accessible to the public.  Joe Speidel, MD, MPH, is imminently qualified to inform us.  He has an impeccable education in medicine and public health and a distinguished and long academic career with over 300 articles published.  Equally important, he cares deeply about the public’s health and his efforts are reflected in this wonderful and important book.

-John Swartzberg, MD, FACP
Clinical Professor Emeritus, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley–University of California, San Francisco, Joint Medical Program
Chair, Editorial Board, UC Berkeley Health & Wellness Publications