Last year we talked to Krystina McIntyre (pictured) from vegansalt.com. McIntyre works in a bookstore, knows her vegan reads and she says many customers come in looking for recommendations on veganism, or anything that will help lower their cholesterol, reduce inflammation or handle diabetes. Here is what’s on the top of her list:
The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell • This one is for the scientifically inclined. It’s heavy on studies, statistics and biology, for those who need convincing that a vegan diet is good for your health, particularly cancer prevention.
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer • Sometimes you need a little motivation to stick with a lifestyle change. Foer is an award-winning fiction writer, so this book is a much-needed right-brained look at the lives and deaths of the fish, birds, and other animals that end up on plates. If nothing else, read the list of the 145 sea-dwelling species that get killed and thrown overboard as “bycatch” in the hunt for tuna.
The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay Nixon • This is a brand new cookbook (full disclosure — I know the author), that contains a bunch of simple, healthy, everyday recipes from (portabella) steaks to brownies, with no hard-to-find ingredients. This is my go-to vegan cookbook for beginners. Bonus points: It’s inexpensive, and filled with full-page, color photos!
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr • Don’t let the name deter you! I just barely picked this one up, but it’s already changing my life. Written by a cancer survivor who treated herself through nutrition, this book gives you all the tools to reverse or prevent chronic disease. And it isn’t just about the food. She shows you how to maximize the benefits of stress-reduction, sleep, and Ph levels until you glow.
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone • Part personal story, part how-to, part cookbook. The actress-turned-activist leads you from the standard American diet to macrobiotic vegan cooking. Go at your own pace, she has an online community to help you stay on track and learn new recipes.
Diet For A New America by John Robbins • Robbins, heir of the Baskin Robbins industry, renounced the business (and all animal products) and in this book, he explains how choosing a vegan diet can improve your health, and benefit all of life on earth!
The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau • When I first became vegan, I thought my baking days were over, but then a friend gave me this book. Every recipe I’ve made from this has turned out perfectly! Yes, these desserts have sugar and gluten, but they’re still healthier than their non-vegan counterparts.
And two for specific health concerns:
Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes by Niel Barnard and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn • These two doctors have cured countless diabetes and heart disease patients without drugs, using the same whole food, oil-free, vegan diet. I’ve met someone whose life was saved by following their advice. These contain powerful truth!