There is more data than ever before that supports the notion that our everyday lifestyle choices have a direct impact on our health. Only 5-10% of cancer risk is considered “genetic”, implying the bulk of our risk is determined by environmental factors, including toxin exposure, diet, exercise and other things within our control.
Discovering the large body of research indicating that lifestyle choices greatly impact our health, specifically with regards to nutrition, fostered an underlying passion for sharing and promoting information that can be applied to prevent and treat disease and ultimately improve quality of life on earth. Below are some of the books and people that inspired us to start and maintain this blog as a labor of love.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD
The China Study discusses the documented links between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It also examines the confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists with respect to nutrition. Consistent with other studies in the field of epigenetics, the China Study concludes that genes do not determine disease on their own. Genes function only by being activated (or expressed) and nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad, are expressed.
Written by T. Colin Campbell (the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University) and his son (a physician), the title is taken from the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a 20-year study that began in 1983 and was conducted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford. T. Colin Campbell was one of the directors of the project, described by The New York Times as “the Grand Prix of epidemiology” and the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”
Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating by Dr. Andrew Weil
Dr. Weil is one of our biggest inspirations because he incorporates the body’s capacity to heal itself into his medical practice. His book documents how our diet can strengthen the immune system and facilitate healing. His nutrition advice focuses on disease prevention and reducing inflammation in the body and his recipes coincide with the anti-inflammatory diet.
Dr. Weil has been instrumental in promoting medical practices that incorporate what is now referred to as “integrative medicine”. In 1994 he founded the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and has succeeded in his initiative to incorporate integrative medicine into medical residency programs for the first time ever in the US. Integrative medicine is now a required component of graduate medical education at eight residency sites around the nation.
We also love his organic and environmentally friendly restaurant chain True Food Kitchen.
Magnificent Mind At Any Age, by Daniel G. Amen, MD
Author Daniel G. Amen is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and brain imaging expert who treats patients at his Amen Clinics. The book’s findings are a result of over 50,000 brain scans that lead to Amen’s dietary and lifestyle strategies for maintaining brain health. Amen has won several writing and research awards and authored many other books on optimizing brain health and preventing brain related illness.
How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine by Joseph E. Pizzorno, Michael T. Murray, Tim Birdsall, Paul Reilly
A comprehensive approach to combating and preventing cancer that allows readers to assess their risk of cancer, manage their internal environment to prevent cancer, and discover the science that supports the significant roles that emotions and attitudes play in prevention and treatment. The authors offer precise combinations of food, vitamins, herbs, minerals, and supplements to help with cancer prevention, treatment, and coping with the disease. The book features proven methods of natural healing intended to complement conventional cancer treatments with special recommendations for breast, prostate, lung, skin, and colon cancers.
The Autoimmune Epidemic, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Autoimmune diseases are those in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues or nervous system – including MS, type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and possibly autism – which is thought to be brought on by genetic predisposition coupled with exposure of young bodies to man-made chemicals and perhaps viral triggers. It is a book that concludes “there is no doubt that autoimmune diseases are on the rise and increasing environmental exposures of toxins and chemicals is fueling this rise. The research is sound. The conclusions unassailable….” – from the foreword by Dr. Douglas Kerr, Director, Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center.
The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough by William G. Crook, MD
The yeast germ candida albicans can seem impossible to eliminate and is an increasing problem in our society that has developed as a result of antibiotic use, poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, stress and other factors that weaken the immune system. The symptoms are vague allowing candida to proliferate undiagnosed for years. Many foods we eat, even healthy foods, are promoting yeast overgrowth without us even realizing it. The book provides an in depth guide into the health problems that can be traced back to candida yeast, and the medical, environmental, and nutritional steps that can be taken to eliminate it from the body. The book features a yeast elimination diet and guideline of suggested foods and foods to avoid, in addition to “yeast-free” recipes.
Eating Alive: Prevention Through Good Digestion by Dr. Jonn Matsen
The first book by renowned natural path Dr. Jonn Matsen. Along with his other books (below) Dr. Matsen explains how our nutrition is linked to disease and how we can use our diet to prevent and treat illness. It provides a good breakdown of the digestive system in easy to read language so that we can all understand the effects food has on our body. Matsen’s books always have great healthy recipes too!
The following are also inspirational books by Dr. Matsen:
David Suzuki and the David Suzuki Foundation
Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990 to work “to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.” The foundation’s survey of toxic ingredients in cosmetic products, called “What’s Inside? That Counts”, inspired our research into and promotion of non-toxic consumer products.
The doctor that reversed her symptoms of progressive Multiple Sclerosis without drugs has shared the research behind and principles of her diet, known as the Wahls’ Protocol, which was featured on The Urban Clinic in October’s Minding Your Mitochondria: Defeating Chronic Disease Without Drugs.
Written and Posted by Jessica Cerka in New York