The best books about personal health for your reading list
The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, impacting our physical and mental health immensely. Ther's no better time than now to reconnect with our bodies and plan our own health journeys. For a successful start, we've listed our 10 favourite books about personal health and well-being to help boost your motivation and health education.
These books will give you insights backed by scientific data on how our bodies work and what we need to know in order to reach our long-term health goals. They'll shift your perspective and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about diets and nutrition. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, so get ready with these books to start a new chapter of your life.
1. Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspé
Biochemist and researcher Jessie Inchauspé is dedicated to helping people understand the role blood sugar plays in our lives using cutting-edge science. In her first book, the Glucose Revolution, she explains how managing your blood sugar can change everything – from weight, sleep, cravings, to mood, energy, skin, and even the rate at which you age.
The book lists scientifically proven hacks to improve your health by flattening your glucose curve. Her advice on how eating macronutrients in the right order will help you feel better and lose weight. Information on specific foods and ingredients to include in your daily diet will help you control cravings.
Inchauspe’s book is full of informative and scientific data, which she delivers in an entertaining way. Not only does the book transform how you feel in your body, it provides you with helpful tools to take control of your own health.
Our key takeaway: It’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to flatten your glucose curve to improve your mood, energy levels, and longevity. Definitely one of our best books about the importance of food and stable blood sugar levels for overall health. She also has a great Instagram account called @glucosegoddess where she regularly shares tips and scientific research.
“What is the right order? It’s fiber first, protein and fat second, starches and sugars last.” ― Jessie Inchauspé
2. How Not to Die by Michael Greger
Physician Michael Greger reveals how some small changes in our diet can prevent us from getting diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure (the leading causes of premature death in America). All of his findings are backed by data-intensive research and scientific evidence.
The nutritional lifestyle changes suggested in his book are simple and easy to implement. They help you increase longevity and reverse chronic diseases: “To become virtually heart-attack proof, you need to get your LDL cholesterol at least under 70 mg/dL.”
Our key takeaway: Groundbreaking science on how daily food choices can fight diseases and boost vitality.
“The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.” ― Michael Greger
3. Atomic Habits by James Clear
In Atomic Habits best-selling author James Clear takes a different approach on how to form good habits and what effect they have on our lives: “We all deal with setbacks, but eventually, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits.”
Bad habits can stop you from pursuing your goals, and this book offers you all the necessary advice and practical strategies to break those habits and turn them into good ones.
Our key takeaway: Atomic Habits will reshape your life and help you to increase willpower to get everything back on track.
“Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become. If you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you’re done.” ― James Clear
4. The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
According to Dr. Jason Fung, many of our commonly-held beliefs about losing weight are simply wrong. This book offers insights on how our bodies work and the importance of understanding our insulin resistance in order to achieve an ideal weight.
The Obesity Code sets out a five-step plan to help you control your insulin levels and achieve long-lasting weight loss. Strategies like intermittent fasting can help transform your body composition in a healthy way.
Our key takeaway: A compelling read about diet myths and the real way to eat for weight loss.
“Once we understand that obesity is a hormonal imbalance, we can begin to treat it. If we believe that excess calories cause obesity, then the treatment is to reduce calories. But this method has been a complete failure. However, if too much insulin causes obesity, then it becomes clear we need to lower insulin levels.” ― Dr. Jason Fung
5. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
We all know by now that sleep is important, but Matthew Walker – director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley – takes it further and explains how sleep affects all aspects of our lives and what habits hinder us from getting a good night's rest.
Here, he summarizes the findings of his 20-year-long research and presents them in a fascinating and eye-opening way. Sleep doesn’t only affect our cognitive abilities, it also plays an important role in regulating our metabolism.
Our key takeaway: Discover what health consequences sleep deprivation has on our lives and how to avoid it.
“Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.” ― Matthew Walker
6. In the Flo by Alisa Vitti
Alisa Vitti’s book is a great introduction to female reproductive health awareness and a great guide for those who want to be in control of their bodies and their lives. The functional nutrition and hormone expert, and founder of the period tracking app Flo Health, explains how women can use their cycle to improve their productivity, health, and weight. She describes the method of “cycle syncing” and recommends that women adjust how to eat, exercise, and work, based on the phases of their menstrual cycle.
The book offers revolutionary insights on female hormone levels and how we can use them for our own good. It includes meal plans, exercise routines, nutritional advice and much more.
Our key takeaway: Female biochemistry explained in a comprehensive way to help you feel more motivated and healthier throughout the month. One of the best health and wellness books for women.
“We can’t access our full potential when we’re living by someone else’s rules and not listening to the wisdom within.”― Alisa Vitti
7. Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch
We tend to believe that our genes are set for life from birth and that there's nothing we can do about it. Dr. Ben Lynch tells us that although we might not be able to change our genes, we can change how they affect our lives.
He breaks down a complicated topic into comprehensive parts and categorizes our genes into what he calls clean and dirty genes. He then provides detailed plans people can follow to "clean" the dirty genes and prevent possible diseases.
Our key takeaway: This book offers an entirely different look at genetic inheritance and how to deal with it. It offers thorough information on how to improve our physical and mental health.
“Far from written into stone, your genetic destiny is more like a document written in the cloud – you get to edit, and revise it, every moment of your life.” ― Dr. Ben Lynch
8. Breath by James Nestor
Breathing is something we do every moment of every day, but have you ever considered the possibility of doing it incorrectly? Breath is the New York Times best-selling book about the art of breathing and how it can prevent a number of diseases if done correctly.
In researching the art and science of proper breathing, Nestor travels all over the world to collect data and rediscover ancient breathing techniques. Even small changes to our breathing can have a substantial impact on our health.
Our key takeaway: This book analyzes something as simple as breathing in such a compelling way that reading it will surely not leave you breathless!
“The greatest indicator of life span wasn’t genetics, diet, or the amount of daily exercise, as many had suspected. It was lung capacity.” ― James Nestor
9. Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman
What is the root cause of a majority of chronic diseases? A question pathophysiology professor Benjamin Bikman found an answer for: Our insulin resistance. Not only does he answer how insulin resistance can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer's, hypertension, and dementia etc., it also offers science-backed strategies on how to prevent them.
This book gives advice on reversing your insulin resistance and what changes we need to implement in our daily activities.
Our key takeaway: Exhaustive research backed with scientific evidence to fix chronic diseases towards which we're genetic predisposed.
“By now I hope that it's clear; though we often blame other factors, there is no single variable more relevant to heart disease than insulin resistance.” ― Benjamin Bikman
10. The Personalized Diet by Eran Segal, PhD and Eran Elinav
When we start a diet, we tend to generalize about foods and place them in categories like "high in carbohydrates" or "high-sugar", "good" or "bad". But a personalized approach is about how to create a diet tailored to your unique needs. The authors of The Personalized Diet highlight how the microbiome affects our health and how each of us can modify our microbiome through diet and nutrition.
The food we eat has a different effect on all of us, and what might benefit some people won't necessarily work for others, according to Segal and Elinav’s incredible findings from their Personalized Nutrition Project at the Weizmann Institute of Science. They monitored 800 people for a week with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and gut microbe analysis and learned that the bodily response to all foods was highly individual.
Our key take away: A paradigm shift that explains why one-size-fits-all diets don't work. A personalized approach and diet is the key factor for health and to achieving long-lasting weight results and preventing diseases. One of the best health and fitness books on the market.
“We chose to focus on blood sugar because elevated levels are a major risk factor for diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice.” ― Eran Segal
The bottom line
Starting out on your personal health journey can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to do and how to optimize your lifestyle.
Our selection of books will give you detailed plans and explanations on how to make more informed health choices tailored to your specific needs to help transform your body and mind. They'll offer you a different perspective on a variety of topics such as genetics, blood glucose, nutrition, fitness, hormones, and many more.
In order to begin your successful health journey, you can get a personalized health check with a comprehensive blood test at Aware. This will help you improve your general health as well as specific areas of your body such as heart, kidney, hormones and metabolism, so you know exactly what you should focus on when making changes in your daily routine.
June 2, 2022
August 8, 2023