My favorite health and nutrition books

I’ve just started getting into food science and have been so fascinated by nutrition, especially functional and holistic nutrition. These are the books I’ve read so far and I loved them all! Each was interesting for its own unique reasons. I also have a (longer) list of books I want to read in case any of those strike your fancy. (Anyone can read, understand and enjoy these books with no previous nutritional knowledge or science/medical background.)

And if you have recommendations let me know! Especially anything on traditional/Chinese medicine or herbs!

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” by Dr. Michael Greger

This is a must if you are curious about a whole foods, plant-based diet — or just want to learn about the nutritional benefits of plants. Dr. Greger makes it really easy to understand approximately 46578 scientific studies and then offers information in the second half of the book on what he eats and how he cooks it.

Biggest takeaway: Other than plants can prevent and reverse disease: the daily dozen! 12 foods you should eat every day to be healthy and balanced.

Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food” by Rachel Herz

There are innumerable factors influencing our food choices and even the way we taste and interpret our food. From environment, color, and smell, to music, marketing and our own unique genetic makeups and upbringings — there are reasons behind why you like and dislike certain foods, crave certain flavors, and eat more in certain situations. If you want to understand those influences and be able to better recognize/control your eating habits, read this!

Biggest takeaway: Your food choices are rarely your own. Being aware of outside influences can help you make more independent choices.

Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever” by Kelly LeVeque

Kelly is a holistic nutritionist in LA who works with just about everyone, including celebrities like Jessica Alba. She focuses on eating good, whole foods that keep your blood sugar in a normal range throughout the day so you aren’t tempted to snack, get plenty of fiber, balance your hormones, and lose weight easily. She provides lots of good recipes in this book and so far they are all delicious!

Biggest takeaway: The FabFour and the FabFour smoothie.

Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat” by Harvey Levenstein

This is probably the most interesting to me because it really is a history of food and goes way, way back to explore where our phobias came from and why. There was so much unknown about food and nutrition until quite recently (and there is still so much unknown) but a lot of the old ideas and fears still affect our diets today. We all know it’s important to learn history so we don’t repeat it; read this book so you don’t fall prey to outdated food ideology.

Biggest takeaway: I am so glad to be living in the time period AFTER we figured all these things out! Amazing how far science has come.


On My Food and Nutrition Reading List:

  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat” by Johnathan Kauffman
  • Medical Medium by Anthony William
  • Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food” by Dr. Catherine Shanahan
  • The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer” by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel
  • Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life” by Max Lugavere with Paul Grewal, M.D.

If you’ve read any of these or do after reading this blog post please reach out and let me know what you thought!

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