Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Nook - 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Hi readers,

I'd like to start this Book Nook entry with a disclosure: I had a bowl of ice cream before bed last night (OK, really it was like 2 small bowls).  And I had a piece of pie at the family cookout yesterday.  So I am certainly not Ms. Perfect when it comes to diet.  But I believe that if a person has the right information about food - why certain foods are good for you, why to avoid the bad stuff, how food is so related to our personal health, etc. - they will be more likely to make better choices.  So I guess I'd better keep reading & re-reading!

Being well informed about the foods that are good for you is what The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden is all about.  It is divided into chapters based on food type - vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc.  Then, on each page in each chapter, the author discusses all the health benefits of that food.  So, the chapter on beverages, for example, has entries such as acai berry juice, coffee, cranberry juice, fresh vegetable & fruit juice, red wine, and so on.  In the entry on cranberry juice, we learn about all the antioxidants, phytonutrients & compounds called proanthocyanidins that are in cranberry juice & why it's all so great for your body.  The book is very readable and the author does a great job explaining everything is layman's terms.  And the best part is, after you're done reading all about cranberry juice, you're going to be very inspired to go out and chug a bunch of it!  The same goes for all the other healthy foods that are in the book.

Another nice thing about this book is that the author asked a small group of nutrition experts what their "Top 10" healthiest foods are.  So, interspersed throughout the book are lots of expert opinions.  It's interesting to compare all of them and especially to see which items made it on almost every list (hello blueberries)!

The only thing I wish this book had was some recipes.  After you read the book on vegetables, say, you are probably going to want to eat a bunch of veggies, and if you're like me, you might like to have some recipes.  I can always get out some of my favorite cookbooks to get them, but I'd be interested to have some created by such a food expert.  In some entries, Bowden makes suggestions on the best preparation method for a food (one example of this is carrots, which he says are better cooked, with a little fat).  These recommendations are sort of spotty, so on the foods that he doesn't discuss it, you can't help but wonder, is this best raw or cooked?  But these are small concerns & the wealth of information the book provides far exceeds these nit-picks.

I hope if you read this book you will feel as inspired as I am to eat healthy foods.  Having the information about healthy foods is what it takes to trade that bowl of ice cream in for a bowl of blueberries (or rather, 2 small bowls)!


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