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The Top 5 Best Nutrition Books for Beginners

As a holistic nutritionist, I’m always searching to learn more about the ways we can support our health and even heal many chronic diseases through our nutrition, especially as new research continually comes out.

Image of book stack for 5 best nutrition books

However, when you’re just beginning your health journey, it can be overwhelming and difficult to determine what you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat since much of the available information is contradicting and confusing. And with a multitude of great books out there, it can be almost impossible to narrow down which ones are the most informative and interesting. How do you know which books are the best nutrition books for begginers?

Well, don’t worry, I got you covered!

Are you searching for some great nutrition books that can help you on your quest to live a more healthy lifestyle? Or maybe you already feel confident in your health but are just looking to learn more? If either of those sound like you, then you’ve come to the right place!

To help you on your journey of finding the best lifestyle and nutrition guides that will work for you, here are my 5 favorite nutrition books for beginners… or really for anyone who wants to learn more about the food we eat and how it directly affects our health!


1. “Food: WTF Should I Eat?” by Dr. Mark Hyman

This book is my current favorite and #1 recommendation for clients who are wanting to cut through all the nutrition noise and have a straightforward explanation of what they should and shouldn’t eat, and most importantly - why. Dr. Hyman does a great job of breaking down our foods into categories and diving into each one with enough detail that you can confidently decide what will work for you and what will not. His take on nutrition is that we should focus our nutrition on the same food that our grandparents and great grandparents ate just a few generations ago: whole, unprocessed foods and a wide variety of them. He does not push for any certain type of diet (vegan, paleo, keto, etc.) but rather, puts forth a compelling argument for including a healthy balance for all types of food in our diet.

Food: WTF Should I Eat? - Book 1 of Best Nutrition Books

In fact, one of his other books (and he has many!) proposes the benefits of what he calls the “pegan diet”. A play on combining the paleo and vegan way of eating…obviously complete opposites! So clearly he’s all about the benefits of all food types in moderation.

The book is full of valuable information on how to make healthy food choices that are tailored to your individual needs. It covers a range of topics, including why you should avoid processed foods, how to shop for healthy foods, and how to prepare nutritious meals. And the best part - it’s written in a very accessible and easy-to-understand way.

If you only read one book from this list - definitely make it this one! 👍

2. “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner

This book is a close second because I just find the concept of the “blue zones” so fascinating. If you haven’t heard of the 5 “blue zones” in our world, then I highly recommend picking up this book and learning more about them! While working for National Geographic Explorer, Dan Buettner and his team identified 5 regions in the world where the population is consistently living long, and most importantly, healthy lives. These regions were identified as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

The Blue Zones - Book 2 of Best Nutrition Books

Over the years, Buettner has studied these communities and determined that while these communities span the globe geographically, they all have some commonalities which contribute to the abnormally large number of centenarians living in their communities. It’s a fascinating look at how traditional societies most definitely had certain benefits and as we’ve modernized, it has often been to the detriment of our health.

In summary, this book takes an interesting approach to nutrition, looking at the eating habits of people in five different “blue zones” around the world. It’s a great read for those interested in learning more about the benefits of eating a traditional diet. Additionally, Buettner has many other books and cookbooks that revolve around incorporating the nutrition and lifestyle habits from the “blue zones”.

3. “The Rainbow Diet” by Deanna Minich, PhD

This book by Deanna Minich is an interesting take on the importance of eating a wide (and colorful) range of fruits and vegetables. Minich starts off with a Spectrum Quiz so you can determine where you are on the rainbow diet and identify what colors may be lacking. She then dives into what each color represents and what we gain from ensuring we consume produce that falls into each color category.

The Rainbow Diet - Book 3 of Best Nutrition Books

Her viewpoint definitely looks at nutrition beyond just the physical benefits, as she also considers its mental and spiritual benefits as well. If you’re interested in a more holistic health viewpoint that considers all aspects of our health, then this book would fit the bill.

Overall, this book offers a practical approach to nutrition, focusing on eating a variety of colorful foods. It provides an in-depth look into the science behind the importance of consuming different types of foods, and it also offers tips on how to make healthier food choices.

4. “The Whole Foods Diet” by John Mackey, Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD

Written by the founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, this book makes a case for following a plant-based diet. Personally, I enjoy the case studies provided throughout the book. It’s always compelling to read first-hand accounts of how everyday people have turned their health around through nutrition and exercise.

The Whole Foods Diet - Book 4 of Best Nutrition Books

The authors also provide some tasty recipes in the book for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the plant-based world. My family particularly enjoys the sweet potato chocolate mousse!

This book provides an overview of the health benefits associated with eating a diet of whole, unprocessed foods. It’s an excellent resource for learning how to create balanced, healthy meals, as well as understanding how to read food labels and make informed decisions about what you eat.

5. “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II

Finally, if you really want to learn about the foundation of functional/holistic nutrition then The China Study is a must. More than 30 years ago, T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study. It was the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.

The China Study - Book 5 of Best Nutrition Books

Personally, I have only read sections of the study, since it’s pretty dense! But it’s fascinating to read about how their findings show the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.

The book covers all the details of the expansive 20-year clinical study on the link between lifestyle and nutrition. With groundbreaking information that has revolutionized how we approach nutrition, this book is a must for anyone looking to make a lasting change to their diet.


So what do you think of my suggestions for the Top 5 Best Nutrition Books?

Did you add any of these books to your Amazon cart or check to see if they’re available at your local library?

Honestly, these are just five of the great books out there for anyone beginning their journey towards healthier eating. All of these books provide valuable insight into the connection between nutrition and health and will help you make informed decisions about your diet.

If you’re looking for additional recommendations beyond these five books or for a book on a specific topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at!

Happy Reading!

Wishing you health and wellness,


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