The summer is finally upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere! For those of you that are taking some time off, are looking forward to your holidays or might have some spare time during the long, bright evenings, here are a few recommendations on good reads on nutrition and health to nurture the mind.
In Defence of Food
By Micheal Pollan
This book starts with Pollan answering the question: what should we eat? With obesity strongly on the rise, a growing prevalence of lifestyle related diseases and incredible amounts of (conflicting) advise on the concept of healthy eating, Pollan´s answer is quite simple: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. An excellent read on how we seem to be replacing eating food with consuming nutrients and replacing eating with consuming. His advice focuses around going back to a way of eating our grandparents might recognise to benefit our health and makes for a compelling read.
Fat Around the Middle
Sounds like your run of the mill weight loss book doesn’t it? This book was on one of my course´s recommended reading lists, otherwise I would never have picked it up. Hidden behind this rather trivial title is actually a very engaging read about the consequences of stress on our bodies and the effect of modern life on our body´s instinctive ´fight or flight´ response. Glenville also describes something called “The hurried woman syndrome”, which I am sure many women of our generation can relate to and goes on to provide pragmatic advice on dietary and lifestyle changes to cope with modern life’s challenges.
The Okinawa Way
People on the island of Okinawa, in the East China Sea, are known for their health and longevity. An extraordinary number of centenarians populate the island, which has a relatively low incidence of the chronic diseases that plague the Western world such as Alzheimer´s, heart disease and cancer. I read this book ages ago but still keep revisiting parts of it, I find it incredibly interesting that a relatively isolated population can develop such different characteristics from its mainland counterpart Japan. This book is actually the result of a 25 year long study of Okinawans aimed at seeking the reasons behind their long and healthy lives. What I especially love about this study and this book is that it looks at the holistic lifestyle of the Okinawans, addressing not only the nutrition and diet factors that contribute to their longevity but looking at their attitude towards life, mental wellbeing and social factors as well.
Happy reading and enjoy your summer!