The best books to help you eat to beat disease

Who am I?

I'm a physician, scientist, and food as medicine researcher who has spent three decades studying how the body defends itself against disease to protect health. A major focus of this has been on how your body responds to what you feed it. I'm an internationally renowned physician, scientist and author of the New York Times bestseller Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. My work has led to the development of more than 30 new medical treatments and impacts care for more than 70 diseases. My TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views. 


I wrote...

Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

By William W. Li,

Book cover of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

What is my book about?

Is your diet feeding or defeating disease? Forget everything you think you know about your body and food and discover the new science of how the body heals itself. Learn how to identify the strategies and dosages for using food to transform your resilience and health in Eat to Beat Disease.

Your body was designed to fight disease, and we have radically underestimated how foods can be used to amplify this hidden power. Pioneering physician-scientist Dr. William Li empowers readers by showing them the evidence behind over two hundred health-boosting foods that can stave off cancer, reduce your risk of dementia, and beat dozens of avoidable diseases.

The books I picked & why

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Lifespan: Why We Age--And Why We Don't Have to

By David Sinclair,

Book cover of Lifespan: Why We Age--And Why We Don't Have to

Why this book?

I’m fascinated by the idea of longevity and if, like me, you want to learn what science is showing us it takes to live longer and better, you have to read this book by a scientist who is doing the research and making the discoveries that will lengthen lifespan.


This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, Ptsd, Ocd, Adhd, and More

By Uma Naidoo,

Book cover of This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, Ptsd, Ocd, Adhd, and More

Why this book?

Dr. Uma Naidoo is a psychiatrist and expert on mental wellness, and how to use food to influence the brain in positive ways. My own work focuses on physical wellness, but mental wellness is every bit as important. Plus, Dr. Naidoo is a trained chef, so it’s fun to read about her passion for food.


Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome

By Will Bulsiewicz,

Book cover of Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome

Why this book?

This is a book all about gut health, and how the microbiome and the foods that either nurture it, or harm it, can heal or injure your gut. As a physician, I know how miserable intestinal distress can be for someone who suffers from it. Written by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, a gastroenterologist, Fiber Fueled (and its follow-up cookbook) will answer almost every question you’ve ever had about how to heal your gut with food.


Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases

By Dean Ornish, Anne Ornish,

Book cover of Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases

Why this book?

Dean Ornish is a legend in the world of lifestyle medicine. He was the first to show you can reverse heart disease with diet and lifestyle, and his work has gone on to study many of the diseases we care about, from diabetes to prostate cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Undo It is a wonderful synthesis of Dr. Ornish’s research, and it suggests a unifying hypothesis for disease. This book also is co-authored by Anne Ornish, who brings a holistic dimension to lifestyle medicine.


The Future of Nutrition: An Insider's Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right

By T. Colin Campbell, Nelson Disla,

Book cover of The Future of Nutrition: An Insider's Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right

Why this book?

T. Colin Campbell is most famous for authoring The China Study, which revealed the striking differences in health between people who eat a traditional, mostly vegetarian, diet versus a Western diet—and the reasons why. The Future of Nutrition is a wry, sometimes cutting retrospective by Campbell on why the American diet has become so unhealthy and why the nutrition, medical, industrial, and government worlds have been so reluctant to change. This book uses the past to suggest ways that we can change for a more hopeful future. Anyone who enjoys a credible exposé (“I knew it!”) on the world of nutrition will love this book.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the brain, nutrition, and rehabilitation?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the brain, nutrition, and rehabilitation.

The Brain Explore 95 books about the brain
Nutrition Explore 16 books about nutrition
Rehabilitation Explore 22 books about rehabilitation

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Your Body in Balance, Nourishing Traditions, and Catching Fire if you like this list.