The best vegan health books

Lindsay S. Nixon Author Of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-And-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
By Lindsay S. Nixon

The Books I Picked & Why

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health

By Justin Sonnenburg, Erica Sonnenburg

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health

Why this book?

Best, most succinct, and comprehensive book I’ve read on the topic of gut health by far. It's also written in a friendly, conversational tone (not overly dry or academic). Things I like: The authors provide a specific daily fiber recommendation (29-35g minimum) for gut health; they discuss how antibiotics and antibiotic soap/cleaner affects microbes, the impacts of glycemic load and industrial flour, and most importantly: they provide evidence so the reader can draw their own conclusions as to what’s best for them diet-wise instead of using fear-mongering.

Note: This book is not "pure vegan" (the authors suggest dairy in some situations).


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Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health

By Neal D. Barnard

Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health

Why this book?

Until I read this book, I was unaware what a critical role hormones play in everything *and* how greatly food affects your hormones. Best of all, Dr. Barnard provides realistic guidelines for how to get started and is never "preachy" about anything. 

He also manages to cover a broad spectrum of hormone-related issues that both men and women face in this easy-to-read book. If you struggle with infertility, mood disorders, PCOS, PMS symptoms, ED (men), hot flashes, risk of cancer/have cancer, depression, diabetes, thyroid issues, weight troubles, etc. I encourage you to read the chapter dedicated to your issue in the book and eat the foods he recommends. At the very least, be informed about exactly how all the foods you eat affect your hormones and medical issues. 


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

By Will Bulsiewicz

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

Why this book?

This book is very concise and a terrific summary of information regarding plant-based eating *and* gut health/gut bugs. Bulsiewicz also manages to be charming, entertaining, friendly, and not being too serious (other books on gut health/fiber/plant-based diets are often boring and dry, if not tedious to read. This book is engaging and fun to read!) If someone was interested in switching to a plant-based or plant-centered diet as well or wanted something a bit more youthful and upbeat with a food plan at the end, then I would suggest this as a first book.


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Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

By Richard Wrangham

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Why this book?

Wrangham upended everything I thought I knew about nutrition and calories. In his provocative book, he discusses the actual differences in nutritional values of cooked versus raw food and how we must also take into account the thermic effect of eating (the amount of work our bodies have to do in order to digest various macromolecules such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and oxidative priority. 

Overall, this book will have you looking at processed foods--all kinds, even hummus or rice cakes, in a different way. You may also, like me, welcome the pivot from nutrition centric thinking to historical and evolutionary understanding as it relates to food (and our relationship to food). 


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Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

By T. Colin Campbell, Howard Jacobson

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

Why this book?

This book stands as a glaring reminder of how we have to advocate for ourselves and our health. This book painfully illustrates the corruption of our health"care" system. Summary: an intriguing look at how influence and reductionism play into modern science, including insight into the vitamin supplement industry and how medical science is caught up in a reductionist paradigm.


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