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3 nutritional books that will change the way you eat

Welcome to the longest post ever. I started this blog because I wanted to share my passion regarding plant-based eating and a healthy lifestyle. Honestly, I’m really enjoying this platform, and I’m very happy with all the fit and wholesome recipes I’ve already shared with you. Hopefully, you are also enjoying my content and have tried some of my easy vegan-friendly recipes. You are welcome to give me some feedback, rating, and advice on further posts.

My goal is to share recipes that are simple to prepare and that makes a great meal prep and out the door food for a busy week. I also don’t like to complicate things, so my meals are usually based around whole ingredients everyone has in the pantry or are easy to find in most supermarkets. Have you tried my delicious sweet potato curry soup? It’s ideal for meal-prep, yum!

But besides cooking (and eating), a favorite hobby of mine is also reading and learning about health and wellbeing.

Knowledge is power!

I want to tell you about three books, that really changed my attitude toward food, the human body, and health. I believe that everyone, who is interested in a healthy lifestyle and what they put into their bodies should own these books. You don’t have to be vegan (I’m not vegan) to be educated about your own health and have the best shot at preventing some of the worlds leading causes of death.

What I enjoyed most about these books is that information is based on science and evidence. They are also not too preachy, nobody likes to be lectured to, okay I get it. But knowledge is power, especially regarding our long-term health, which is what should be everyone’s number one priority. If you don’t have your health in order, you surely can’t take care of your family or keep up with other things you love doing.

These books are written in a really engaging way and they definitely contain plenty of mindblowing information about nutrition, certain food benefits and research regarding plant-based foods versus animal based products.

fruit and plants

More and more people are starting to acknowledge the power of whole plant-based food, which is amazing. These books can be a great resource to start with if you are curious to know more about nutrition and endeavor down the plant-based road as well. Honestly, eating more vegetables and less animal-based foods can only bring you benefits with no harm or downsides, so why not try? Plus, aren’t we all sick and tired of fad diets and weight loss programs already?! Most of them are restricting and surely not sustainable long-lasting lifestyle habits, so why bother.

Eating a well-balanced, predominantly whole plant-based foods will guarantee you a healthy weight, together with a healthy heart and mind! Okay, I sound like a commercial for plants now, please stop me.

Books that will change the way you eat!

So, the plan is to give you short reviews about each of these three books. Explain to you how will each of them change your mind about nutrition and what exactly you will learn from it. All of these are written by respected professionals in the field of medicine and nutrition. They dared to look at the bigger picture and present us the effects of an animal-based diet on the quality and longevity of human life. I’m all ears, are you?

THE CHINA STUDY

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD
The china study most comprehensive study of nutrition
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This was the first book I’ve read, that studies nutrition and effects of a plant-based diet on health and well-being. After I finished the book I was pretty much sold on the fact that my diet and food choices play a huge role in my plan of living a long healthy life. It also inspired me to educate myself on the topic of nutrition science and health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle even further.

The China Study is considered one of the most valuable books about diet and health ever written. The authors, T. Colin Campbell, and his son Thomas shared findings of the most comprehensive study of nutrition, known as China Project. The China Study involved more than 20 years of research independent from industry, government and financial interests.

Spoiler alert: the conclusions regarding the relationship between our health and what we eat are pretty groundbreaking and need to be heard!

I also really enjoyed the way the book is written. Don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a light vacation lying on the beach kinda read. It includes quite a lot of numbers, charts, statistics and research findings. But the authors are in no way preaching their truth. They are simply presenting the effects of our standard diet on occurrence and progression of the main leading causes of death around the world. We all know them, we’ve all heard about them or came in touch with them ourselves or through friends and family members: heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, etc.

Shocking knowledge: 

I’m sure you’ve heard of predisposition for certain diseases, right? People saying that some diseases just run in their family (genes) so there is nothing they can do to prevent them. The part about diseases being genetic is absolutely true, the genes are the ones loading the gun. But the part about feeling helpless, as if there is no way of avoiding diseases like cancer is just not valid. So to refer back to the loaded gun, lifestyle factors are the ones that pull the trigger, particularly nutrition and food choices (the mind plays a big role here too, but that topic is for another day). The author explains this as genes having to be activated or expressed in order for a disease, such as cancer, to develop.

If genes aren’t activated or expressed they don’t have any effect on our health, can you believe that?! So what determines whether bad genes get expressed? Well, lifestyle and diet of course! Both of which we have under control.

Another groundbreaking myth that gets debunked in this book is the importance of animal protein for health and body development. Wow, this is a big one, right?! Not only, are animal protein not good for us health-wise, but studies show that casein, which comprises 80% of proteins in cow’s milk actually promotes all three stages of cancer development. Meaning if any of cancer genes do run in your family, it may be a good idea to cut down on animal-based foods, just saying.

Oh and plants are basically so powerful, that eating them can not only prevent certain diseases but also reverse them! No pill or surgical procedure can do this for you, btw. We just gotta trust the good old mother nature for providing us the medicine in the form of food.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates

Long story short, the results of the 20 years long China Study showed that those who ate most animal-based foods got the most diseases. And people who ate predominantly plant-based diet were the healthiest. Amen.

HOW NOT TO DIE

Michael Greger, MD
How not to die Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
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Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease – this is a very accurate subtitle for this book. How not to die is basically like a nutritional health bible. Does help that it’s very comprehensive and thick as well. It got all the information you will ever need to help prevent all kind of diseases, and even reverse them. Every chapter is dedicated to certain illness and ways to prevent it. With every disease, you also find out about specific superfoods that are shown to be especially powerful in beating it.

What I loved the most about this book, besides all the jammed-pack information you get, was the personal touch of the author and his experiences in the medical field. Especially regarding his connection to heart disease with grandmothers survival through diet and lifestyle changes. Pretty remarkable and inspiring.

Dr. Greger tells you exactly which foods you should incorporate into your daily meals in order to protect against leading causes of death. Everything in this book makes so much sense and after you read each chapter it just makes you want to eat more veggies ASAP!

Shocking knowledge: 

The first and biggest chunk of the book explains some evidence of how a whole plant-based diet affects our health and gives our bodies the best shot at preventing and curing numerous diseases. Like the no.1 killer heart diseases, various types of cancers, high blood sugar, and even depression! The fact is, that animal-based food has been scientifically linked to all of these diseases.

There is no doubt that poor diet is affecting our health and well-being. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence for the benefits of eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds…you get the idea.

The second part of the book is reserved to Dr. Greger’s daily dozen. If you are wondering what the heck is that, it’s authors simple checklist of whole food plant-based ingredients you should strive to incorporate into your daily diet. Very straightforward and practical info, nothing crazy: eat more whole plant-based foods and avoid processed and animal products. He even recommends the servings of each food and yes, the exercise is a part of daily dozen as well.

You might be thinking, why should I trust this guy? Michael Greger is a clinical physician who specializes in nutrition. He is also a founder of NutritionFacts.com, which is non-profitable, a science-based platform providing free videos and articles on the latest in nutrition research. Strongly recommend checking it out btw, there is some really interesting material on there. You can even catch live Q&As on there with Dr. Greger himself if you are lucky. Also, the book contains more than 100 pages or references to all the studies and resources.

WHOLE

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. with Howard Jacobson, PhD
Whole Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
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This one is the latest I’ve read related to science and nutrition. The Whole really opens your eyes to how nutrition science really goes down. Who is behind the financial side of things and how is the information presented to us. It reveals the hazards of reductionist food research and how its findings are slowing down our ”disease care” system. The author also explains the biochemical complexity of food and how it should be observed as a whole and not as a specific nutrient or component.

Do you take lots of vitamins in the morning? Then you should really read through this book. The author talks about the importance of wholistic approach on nutrition rather than the reductionist.


3 books that will change your mind about food and health

If you are interested in why exactly is plant-based diet the best and healthiest way to eat you should really check out these books! Whole food plant-based means eating as much as you want of fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and limited amounts of refined carbs, processed foods, and vegetable oils. No calorie counting and starving yourself, only abundance and lots of benefits and health! Plant-based foods are the ones that contain a wide variety the nutrients and fiber that our bodies strive for every day.

I truly hope this wasn’t too depressing since all the books relate to diseases and stuff. But I rather look at it as a powerhouse of knowledge and a chance to be proactive. Be positive and look at this topic from a different angle. Eating vegan truly makes me so happy, content and makes me feel good and energized from the inside.

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