With so many diet fads and food trends happening, it can be confusing to learn about food and what might work best for your body. If you’re wanting to educate yourself, but maybe aren’t ready to work with a holistic doctor or traditional physician, one of the best things you can do is read. Just like diets, though, there are tons of books out there and it can feel equally as overwhelming trying to sift through all the options. To help you get started, here is a list of five books that can assist in educating your view on food.

The Plant Paradox

This book not only offers loads of information, but a guide on how to start a healthier lifestyle. The author, Dr. Steven R. Gundry, goes deeper than America’s obsession with gluten and breaks down a plant protein called lectin—the supposed real issue behind inflammation, weight gain and other health conditions. What he shares in “The Plant Paradox” is the proven system he uses to help his patients detox their cells and start a healthier lifestyle. You might be surprised by some of the suggestions made in the book (swapping brown rice for white?!), which makes it a fascinating and educational read.

Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?

The name of this book sums up exactly how most people feel about food. One minute you’re eating quinoa thinking you’re on the right track, and the next minute research is telling you that same quinoa is actually causing you to gain weight. There’s so much conflicting information out there that to say it’s overwhelming is an understatement. “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat” by Mark Hyman, MD, helps you sift through it all and discover what works best for you.

Genius Foods

This book is less about the big picture, and more about how the food you eat affects your brain activity. It claims to have a guide on how to eat to help your brain age better, sharpen your memory and ultimately, optimize your brain. The author, Max Lugavere, dove into this research because his mother was diagnosed with dementia. So the insights of this book are meant to help increase the general awareness around the idea that what you eat actually does affect your brain and how it will age.

It Starts With Food

You’ve probably heard of the Whole30 diet by this point, and maybe have even seen labels on food that say “Whole30 approved.” It’s another movement that has swept the nation. If you’re trying to gather all the information from as many perspectives as possible, this book can help you understand the science behind elimination diets, discover the foods that truly irritate your gut and develop a healthy metabolism.

In Defense of Food

The author of “In Defense of Food”, Michael Pollan, has written several books about diet and food. This book is a must-read on this list because of Pollan’s famous quote describing his perspective on what people should eat, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” It sums up the idea behind the book, which is that the American people have very much overcomplicated nutrition, and the key to being healthy isn’t to have overwhelming amounts of knowledge, but to just keep it simple and not overthink it.

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