While I have read many books on the topic of nutrition and health and spent countless hours listening to podcasts…. And by hours, I mean years. These authors and books have stood out in ways that other books have not. The messages in each book are truly profound. All these books have had an impact on my life and the lives in which I touch through my nutritional coaching. These 7 books are my top books on nutrition and healthy eating for weight loss, digestive health, and overall health.
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#1 – Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch
The book that forever changed the course of my nutritional studies and took my understanding of how nutrition affects our health and genes to a whole new level. After years of improving my health in specific areas, I was still left with a couple of niggling symptoms. Reading dirty genes helped me to pinpoint exactly where my body was struggling and how to support my struggling genes using the diet and targeted supplements. Simple questionnaires will help you to find out what “dirty genes” you may have and how to clean up your “dirty genes”
Dirty genes had such a profound effect on me and the clients in which I practice with that I continued to study genetics by taking Dr. Ben Lynch’s courses. If you are like me you will love this book and want to get to know yourself on the genetic level by doing your genetic testing through Ancestry DNA and uploading your raw data through strategene to find out what clinically relevant SNP’s you may have. But to get started no testing is needed…. Just start with reading dirty genes and utilizing the questionnaires found in dirty genes.
#2 – The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
If you are wanting to lose weight, are insulin resistance or have type 2 diabetes then the Obesity Code is a must read! The low fat dietary advice that was given to the public along with the increased consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates has lead to the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic that we face today.
One of the reasons as to why the keto diet has gained massive amounts of popularity for weight loss is because weight gain is a hormonal problem due to excess sugar causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. When insulin levels are consistently elevated the body is in a constant state of fat storage making weight loss nearly impossible. Dr. Jason Fung proves how fasting, removing sugar and utilizing healthy fats in the diet is the answer to solving the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic that we see today.
#3 – The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin
One of the first books I read back in the early days of delving deep into my self-nutrition studies was JJ Virgin's book The Virgin Diet where I first learnt about how food sensitivities cause inflammation. Did you know that chronic inflammation is one of the big reasons as to why people can’t lose weight? The 7 foods most commonly known to cause inflammation include gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, eggs, peanuts, and corn. If you have developed food sensitivities to these foods and can’t lose weight then removing these common food sensitivities from the diet is the answer to your weight problems.
I remember first reading The Virgin Diet on a holiday in Mexico thinking how the hell can I remove all these foods from my diet and what am I allowed to eat?! But the book made sense and sparked interest in me so when I got home from my holiday, I booked in for my first naturopath appointment to get my food sensitivity test. Adjusting my diet to remove my food sensitivities while kicking my candida was when I saw my health and digestive symptoms start to improve.
#4 – Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You by Dr. Jonathan Wright
Heartburn and acid reflux are super common digestive complaints but did you know that too much stomach acid is rarely the true cause of heartburn. Most often stomach acid levels are low when heartburn and acid reflux is present. What is often needed is gut healing support first then additional stomach acid support in the form of betaine HCL. Long term use of acid-blocking drugs and proton pump inhibitors can cause many long term side effects.
Jonathan M Wright links low stomach acid levels to many chronic health conditions from osteoporosis, rosacea, autoimmune challenges, heartburn and many more. You will have to read Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You to fully understand all the roles that stomach acid plays in our health.
#5 – Heartburn: Fast Tract Digestion by Norman Robillard
Acid reflux used to be one of my digestive symptoms but in my case, low stomach acid was not the problem. For me, it was the resistant starches and difficult to digest starches that were feeding my SIBO that was underlying and causing my heartburn. By removing and reducing the high fiber foods and difficult to digest starches that are fuel for SIBO, heartburn can be eliminated.
Knowing that sometimes those healthy high fiber prebiotic foods are not helpful for someone experiencing heartburn is HUGE. If high fiber and difficult to digest starches are triggering your heartburn this book is a must. Norman Robillard lays out how SIBO and fermentable fibers are causing your heartburn symptoms in his Heartburn: Fast Tract Digestion book.
#6 Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski
One of the most informative and comprehensive books I have read on gut health is Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski. This book is my gut health bible with alternative, dietary and supplemental remedies and solutions for heartburn, leaky gut, candida, parasites…etc you name it this book talks about it. The health of our digestion affects all areas of our health and this book provides step by step solutions to improving your gut health.
#7 The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls
The story of Terry Wahls and how she used diet to overcome her MS is truly an inspiring story and the perfect reminder of how powerful the diet is. Terry Wahls created the wahls diet to obtain as many micronutrients from the diet as possible to restore mitochondrial function and thus overall health as we need healthy mitochondria to have a healthy body.
Terry Wahls went from being bound to a wheelchair as a result of her multiple sclerosis to walking and healthy through utilizing the power of nutrition found in real food. Reading The Wahls Protocol reconfirmed how important the diet is in restoring health and Terry Wahls is a walking example of how powerful the diet is for optimal health. For anyone suffering from an autoimmune condition of multiple sclerosis, this book is another must read!
While this list of health books is just the tip of the iceberg of many phenomenal books on the topics of nutrition, gut health, and weight loss this reading list is a great start for anyone wanting to improve their health, lose weight and have the best gut health.