Top Ten Health Books That Changed My Life

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

Books are a usual favorite on most people’s gift list as they are suitable for any occasion and you can find something to please almost anyone.

For those family and friends that are interested in health, why not give them a book that will really rock their world?

I’ve been asked several times in recent weeks which health books are my personal favorites, so I thought I’d list my Top Ten and give you the reasons why each particular book was a game changer for me.

Top Health Books to Consider for a Healthier Lifestyle

Juicing for Life – By Cherie Calbom

Ok, I know.  Juicing is not the wellness silver bullet that it is cracked up to be in the health community and veggie juicing has the potential to be nothing but a huge blood sugar spike unless you stir in some cream to lower the glycemic index like the French traditionally practice with their raw carrot juice.

But, twenty years ago when I was a stressed out corporate rat, living out of suitcases and constantly flying all over the place, juicing really saved my life and this particular book was my juicing bible.

I’ve written before about my problem with panic attacks in my 20’s that was triggered by my “burn the candle at both ends” corporate lifestyle.  Vegetable juicing provided the much needed minerals I required to get through this unhealthy period in my life until I was able to slow down, get a life, and start doing some actual cooking for myself.

Even now, I use vegetable juicing as a way to get a lot of easy to absorb minerals if I’m on the road and don’t have access to homemade bone broth, an even better source of easy assimilated minerals (see free video library on this blog for how to’s).   The difference now is that I drink my fresh veggie juice with some fat to improve absorption and prevent the blood sugar spike!

The Untold Story of Milk – By Dr. Ron Schmid

When I was new to raw dairy and still a little unsure about my decision 10 years ago, this book by Dr. Ron Schmid made all the difference.   This book provides a comprehensive history of milk and how pasteurization came into favor.  If you think raw milk is unsafe, this book will change your mind.

In short, the detail provided in this book is sure to overcome the deep seated propaganda against raw milk that has been purposely sown in your brain by Big Dairy via government and conventional medical authorities to protect marketshare and profits.   You will never look at milk the same again after reading this amazing story.

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year – by Susun Weed

This book is absolutely essential for the woman who desires a medication free prenatal and birth experience.  I can’t tell you how much I referred to this book, almost on a daily basis, when I was planning a pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Knowing how to properly and successfully use herbs to assist your body through the very challenging physical experience of pregnancy, birth, and labor is information that you can’t put a price on.

My Mom always likes to tell me that having a baby is like running a marathon that never ends.  How true! This book will show you how to navigate that experience and not damage your body in the process.

The Secret Life of the Unborn Child – by Thomas Verny

This book describes life from the perspective of an unborn baby and it will rock your world!   I attribute what I learned in this book to my very important decision to not have any ultrasounds or subject myself or my baby to any unnecessary testing during my pregnancies.  I feel very sure based on the research I’ve done that ultrasounds are a huge negative experience for the unborn fetus and are a big contributor to the explosion of speech impediments and non-genetic left handedness in our young ones (which is an indicator of brain damage).

This book is a great read for any parent to be and will change how you feel about your pregnancy.

Cooking For Life: Ayurvedic Recipes for Good Food and Good Health – by Linda Banchek

This book was my very first cookbook, if you can believe that!   I bought it at the suggestion of my Ayurvedic/MD physician who was helping me implement some very important lifestyle changes at the time to help me deal with my totally stressed out corporate life many years ago.  Ayurvedic style Indian cooking was my very first foray into the world of traditional cooking and it really got the snowball rolling for me.

After learning Ayurvedic cooking, it was a very natural step to learn traditional cooking from other cultures as well.

The Truth About Children’s Health – by Robert Bernardini

This is a great book to debunk all the common myths about children’s health such as fevers are bad and vaccinations are good.   If you are an out of the box thinker and not given to “monkey see, monkey do” type of behavior when it comes to caring and raising your children, this book is for you.   It will help you raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor.

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills – by Russell Blaylock MD

I first saw Dr. Blaylock (neurologist) speak at the 2004 Wise Traditions Conference.   After his talk, he got into a heated argument with an oncologist who happened to be in the audience who was offended by his take on the profit making cancer industry and how aspartame causing brain tumors being covered up by the medical establishment.

That argument was incredible to witness.  Two doctors going at it about the very basic premise that what is in our everyday processed foods is quite literally frying our brains.

After that talk, I simply had to read his book and was not disappointed.   MSG and aspartame (Nutrasweet) are two of the most dangerous chemicals in our food supply and this book goes into great detail about the exact process of how these chemicals destroy our brain and kill individual neurons which most likely never recover.  If you are finding it difficult to leave processed foods behind, this book will give you the nitty gritty that will motivate you into making the necessary changes immediately.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome – By Natasha Campbell-McBride MD

If you suffer from any type of auto-immune disease, this book is an absolute must read.  Dr. Campbell-McBride goes into detail about how imbalance in the gut is the root of all auto-immune illness and what you can do with your diet to reverse this downward slide in your health.

One auto-immune illness leads to another and then another, so if you suffer from allergies and think this is no big deal, think again.   Allergies are auto-immune in nature and it will lead over time to more serious auto-immune illness unless you do something about it.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, cautioned that “All diseases begin in the gut”.   This book will explain how this is so and what proactive steps you can take to fix yours and leave auto-immune disease behind.

Nourishing Traditions  – By Sally Fallon Morell with Mary G. Enig PhD

Are you interested in Traditional Cooking and the health benefits this can confer to your family and yourself?  If so, then this cookbook is the basic primer you need to get started.  Don’t even attempt to delve into traditional cooking without it.

My copy of Nourishing Traditions is dog-eared and batter splattered from being used so much over the years!  When you get your copy in the mail, be sure to cover it with a clear book cover protector as you will be using it as a constant reference on the kitchen counter as you cook and you want it to last for awhile!

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – By Dr. Weston A. Price

Natives from traditional cultures consuming their traditional diets were healthy, strong, robust and mostly free from chronic and infectious disease.  If you doubt the historical validity of this in any way, then you must read this detailed account of Dr. Weston A. Price’s 10 year journey around the world during the early part of the last century which documents the astounding health of traditional societies with data as well as amazing pictures.

If you are tired of fad diets and silver bullet approaches to health, come home to Traditional Eating.  This is how people used to eat to stay healthy and well without the modern crutches of over the counter drugs, antibiotics, braces, and fillings to name but a few.

So there you have it.  My Top Ten list of health books that had the biggest effect on my health journey over the years. What health books are on your list?  Are some of the health books on my list life changers for you as well?

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit


Comments (92)

  1. “The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid is a very interesting book about milk. I never thought about milk like Ron describe it.
    It’s a pity not having access to raw milk near me…

  2. Agree on Weston Price, Nourishing Traditions, GAPS.
    I started on Adele Davis, life changing if outdated now e.g. Let’s Eat Right or Let’s Cook It Right. I still cook meat ‘low and slow’ and veges quickly. My first pointer to the importance of organ meats.
    Then Kathleen DesMaisons Potatoes not Prozac is a brilliant book and much underrated.
    Linus Pauling Orthomolecular medicine that health is not based on medicine deficits but giving the body the inputs it needs, and helping eliminate toxins it doesn’t need.

  3. Loved The Untold Story of Milk – highly recommend it, also the Secret Life of the Unborn Child – revolutionary in its time and still relevant today. Also Gut & Psychology Syndrome – as a Psychologist have found this particularly interesting.

  4. The most life changing book that I’ve read on nutrition is Anticancer: a new way of life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD , PhD. It is based on tons of medical research as well as his own life experiences fighting cancer. Its not like any other book that I’ve ever read. When my late husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer we decided to forgo the major surgeries chemo and radiation and discovered this wonderful book. We adopted a very strict anticancer diet and my wonderful husband was able to live healthy and pain free for another 9 months. Since he passed away, I continue to follow this diet for the most part. I highly recommend this book to everybody!

  5. Cindy Ellis Bauman via Facebook April 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks for posting your list! I’ve just ordered Nourishing Traditions, and Excitotoxins. Can’t wait for the education I’m about to get! LOL! :-)

  6. I can’t believe Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body Timeless Mind did not make the list. Hands down best book on Health I have ever read.

  7. “Fit for Life” – read that while in high school, and it definitely changed some of my thinking. Knowing what I do now, I disagree with a lot of information in it, but apparently, they’ve written a couple of revisions as well.
    Add “The Vaccine Myth” and definitely, “Mommy Diagnostics” by Shonda Parker. I still have it and refer to it on occasion. It helped me bridge the gap that I was feeling between what my intuition and heart wanted for my kids and what the medical community suggested. It’s an easy read and a wealth of info. I first discovered raw milk through this book!

  8. Great list! Another great book is Shane Ellison’s “Over the Counter Natural Cures: Take Charge of Your Health in 30 Days with 10 Lifesaving Supplements for under $10″ — Changed my way of thinking!!!

  9. Wonderful items here. I’m just pretty pleased to visit your document. Thank you a great deal that i’m taking a look forward to touch a person. Do you want to make sure you lower me a e-mail?

  10. Raw Dairy CAN BE UNSAFE. Preaching the opposite is irresponsible. I work on a diary farm, I’ve been sickened from raw dairy. The information that it is safe is a load of crap.

    • Any food CAN be unsafe. It all depends, in this case, on the practices of the farmer who is producing the dairy. Pasteurizing it does reduce the risk but also destroys most of the health benefits of milk, and can make it positively unhealthy.

  11. great list! i will be getting some if not all of these books.

    a juicing book was the first in my slide into good health. i love “encyclopedia of fruits and vegetables” by the medical anthropologist. i use it all the time. and “good calories, bad calories,” “the vegtarian myth,” and “the schwarzbein principle” all ones that have helped shape my thinking. i love books!

  12. Katrina Achin Fontes via Facebook December 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Larry, This sometimes occurs when the fetus has a twin in utero, then the twin dies through miscarriage. Non-genetic left-handedness. I think I’m going to look into that book. Sounds interesting!

  13. Larry Underwood via Facebook December 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    What is this about non-genetic left handedness being an indicator of brain damage? I’ve never heard this before and am interested in learning more.

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  15. I just bought Gut and Psychology syndrome and the The Metabolic Typing Diet by Wolcott and Fahey, so far very interesting has anyone else read the metabolic typing diet? any thoughts?
    I also have the vacination bible,
    how to raise a healthy child inspite of your dr.
    what doctors dont tell you,
    thankyou for sharing your list.
    am planning on reading the milk book, not many libraries in my area so a friend and i just borrow off each other.
    will be recommending these to friends and family and telling them to put in requests at their local libraries, as they can be very helpful in ordering a copy at the local library back in the UK. one thing i miss, the local library!

  16. Yes a great list. I am a fan of Russel Baylock and Dr. John Lee as well.
    Slightly off topic. I have just started the GAPS diet for RA and I would really appreciate comments from anyone with RA who has done or is doing the protocol.
    What changes they have experienced an approximate time frame, have you experienced any rebuilding of the joint tissue etc etc. I am aware that we are all different, but any info is welcome.

  17. Sarah are there any books written specifically on what traditional foods to eat while pregnant, postpartum and as well as babies first foods???

  18. Hi Sarah,
    I just read the whole article and there is not one reference to the source on the bit about the left handedness. It simply says “Doctors are aware” and the last paragraph on the topic is clearly written as an opinion. Its impossible to know whether someone who is left handed is so by genetics or otherwise. Its a huge claim to make that someone who is left handed could have possibly suffered brain damage. While I do enjoy thinking outside of the box, etc, its also prudent to properly reference the statements you are making.

    • I wrote that article on ultrasounds some time ago and it seems the link to the amazing article by Sarah Buckley MD on the dangers of ultrasounds has changed. I will go fix it. Here’s the quote from her article. Again, non genetic left handedness is a known sign of brain damage .. it can occur from many things. In my brother’s case, likely lack of sufficient oxygen at birth.

      …there may be a relation between prenatal ultrasound exposure and adverse outcome. Some of the reported effects include growth restriction, delayed speech, dyslexia, and non-right-handedness associated with ultrasound exposure. Continued research is needed to evaluate the potential adverse effects of ultrasound exposure during pregnancy. These studies should measure the acoustic output, exposure time, number of exposures per subject, and the timing during the pregnancy when exposure(s) occurred. (Marinac-Dabic 2002

      • Yes, Sarah Buckey’s “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” is one of the best health books I’ve ever read!
        Sarah to your list I’ll just add Nina Plack’s “Real Food” and Micahel Pollan’s “In Defence of Food”.

  19. “non-genetic left handedness in our young ones (which is an indicator of brain damage).”
    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA reference please?? Do you just make some of this stuff up?? Def appreciate your blog for the most part, but I worry for the people who come, read and take all your information as being completely true.

  20. I am excited to read a few on this list I haven’t.
    The Body Ecology Diet by Linda Gates changed my life, and although I eat more fats now, many of the principles still guide me.
    Does anyone remember “Fit for Life?” That one had a big impact on me in the 80s.

  21. Great list! Some I’ve not seen before, so definitely worth seeking out. I’d add books by Joel Salatin to my own similar list. His latest one, “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”, explains how hard it is to get local food into our hands. Certainly opened my eyes to how frustrating being a farmer is trying to sell directly to consumers! And made me more urgent to seek out the better foods (raw milk and cheese, more local grass-fed meat, etc.).

    • Love Joel Salatin! Am so going to volunteer for at least a month when I am able to have him show me how to attempt to be a farmer!

  22. Great list! I’ve read several of them. Looking forward to reading the rest. Sarah, thank you so much for this blog! The information you post is very helpful.

  23. Michael Pollan’s – In defense of food, An omnivore’s dilemma, Food rules
    Animal, vegetable, miracle – Barbara Kingslover

    It is not unusual to see a common theme emerging from books like these ( as well as my ‘bible’ Nourishing Traditions ). That theme is, processed food is not food, if your parents / grand parents would not recognize it do not eat it as well as a return to more traditional eating.

    • Agreed. Those were some of my first reads when delving into the nutrition fiasco. I also read Fit for Life, Green for Life, books about sprouting, cleansing and fasting as well. Dr. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration was probably the biggest influence on how I eat now. As much as I enjoy eating more vegetarian, I incorporate lots of dairy, eggs and small amounts of meat weekly.

  24. All wonderful books! Ever read “Healing With Aromatherapy” or “The Hudnred Year Lie”?
    The last one is about the dangers of synthetic chemicals and how Big Indutry tries to cover up the truth about their dangers.

  25. Pingback: Top Ten Health Books That Changed My Life — The Healthy Home … | Books Palace

  26. How about a book that can (and in my case did) SAVE your life, not just change it? Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” and his “Disease Proof Your Children.” “Take Charge of Your Child’s Health” by Dr. George Wootan, “How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor” by Dr. Robert Mendellson or his “Confessions of a Medical Heretic.” Anything by Dr. John Lee.

  27. Any recommendations for books that discuss traditional methods of healing common childhood and adult illnesses without medication?

  28. Thank you so much for this list. Some I already have but others I have never heard of.

    I am wondering if anyone has a gift idea for the milkman? I pick up my raw milk from a depot and because of my work hours I never get to see the farmers in person. I would like to give something to show my appreciation for their hard work and delicious milk, any ideas?

    • How about a picture of your kids grinning with those exaggerated milk mustaches tucked into a thank you card, attached with ribbon to a jar of local honey, or something you’ve put up?

  29. I loved some of those books, and know they come highly recommended. Also the Cure tooth decay that someone added is a great suggestion! One that put it all together for me was Politically incorrect nutrition. It deals with debunking all the typical thoughts on food. Even things like microwave use, floride in water, and even tea and how tea (unless it’s herbal) is full of floride! I also loved Taking charge of your fertility. Though it’s not specifically about health, if you aren’t unhealthy, and don’t want a huge family, you don’t have much for healthy birthcontrol options without this. So not using this method would have continued to mess with my hormones and health. It’s not the only book that teaches it, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s the best. (It even tells you how to choose the sex of your baby naturally!)

      • Vaccination is Not Immunization by Dr. Tim O’Shea is a wonderful source for information about the dangers of vaccinating. He puts it right out there. Tells it JUST like it is, with mega-references, to boot.

        Even the chapter on vaccinations in Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s book called Raising a Healthy Baby in Spite of Your Doctor is a great one, even though it’s approaching 30 year old advice. See, people knew back then, just no one talked about it and thus the word didn’t get around like it does today. (The chapter on fevers in his book is just excellent reading, too).

        • I read Vaccination is Not Immunization also and it was AMAZING!!!!! Couldn’t put the book down! He also updates YEARLY! He wants you to be informed and lists very clearly all his sited references in the back so you can look into it.
          Search for his website for the best price of this book!

  30. Sarah, I am so with you on the ultrasounds and unnecessary prenatal testing. I’ve had a copy of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child for about 28 years. I am fearful that the upsurge in the transvaginal ultrasounds very early in pregnancy is leading to first trimester miscarriages, too. I tell everyone who I know becomes pregnant to avoid those! Not all listen, and there are so many early losses nowadays.

      • I finally got pregnant with the help of a fertility clinic. They had stimulated egg production – 16 of them and then inseminated me with my husband’s sperm. I refused to come in on day 10 for ultrasound after testing positive for pregnancy as my midwife friend said they wouldn’t be able to see anything yet. I waited 10 days and came in and asked them to keep the ultrasound as short as possible. She kept that thing in me for 10 minutes and it was on the entire time. I had tears rolling down my cheeks asking her to please minimize the exposure. Afterward the doctor SCREAMED at the top of his lungs “How dare you make my technician feel she was raping you.” I felt this was my first decision as a parent and I had failed. He kicked us out of his practice and told us never to return. When I went to retrieve my records for the midwife I was shaking and asked to compare my file to the one they had copied for me as I never wanted to return and I saw that they had neglected to include a letter to my primary where the fertility doctor told him I was crazy and would make a terrible money and needed mental help. What a horrible ordeal!

  31. Amy Davidson Heaton via Facebook December 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I loved reading this. I think I would have added Cure Tooh decay and The liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse to those too! I like the comment of adding Deep Nutrition too. I haven’t ordered that one yet, but I want to soon. Great Post!

  32. Amy Davidson Heaton via Facebook December 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I loved reading this. I think I would have added Cure Tooh decay and The liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse to those too! I like the comment of adding Deep Nutrition too. I haven’t ordered that one yet, but I want to soon. Great Post!

  33. Nourishing Traditions, Nutrition & Physical Degeneration & Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson changed my life! These books convinced me that eating the modern conventional lowfat/highcarb/grain based diet & chronic cardio are not healthy.

    • Try asking the librarians! They have been an amazing source of knowledge at our library on the Olympic Peninsula! They gotten so many books that have been requested by the community.

  34. More books to read! One book that has changed my life is Deep Nutrition – Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, by Dr. Catharine Shanahan.

  35. Now I know what to ask for for Christmas! Well, I was already asking for “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, “Nourishing Traditions”, and “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.” So, I know what ELSE to ask for!


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