Reading List

tQAD_BookReview_gutbalanceOne of the latest, and perhaps the best of the new books recently published on the gut microbiome and its influence on overall health. As a Johns Hopkins Medical School Professor and Director of Integrative Gastroenterology and Nutrition Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Mullin’s career has focused on gut health, nutrition, and healthy weight management. Prior to college, he was a 293 pound teenager with a desire to become a doctor and sought solutions to help overcome his obesity. The empathy and knowledge he gained along the way give this book a personal and hands-on feel to the scientific associations he draws between food, gut health, and weight. Dr. Mullin’s scientific evidence-based approach is supported with 35 pages of endnotes from years of research and data.

Stressing the importance of prebiotic plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables as well as drastically reducing starchy and highly processed carbohydrates, Dr. Mullin gives us another perspective on the benefits of eating an abundance of low-glycemic, nutrient-dense vegetables. His list of super foods include: oats, avocado, asparagus, beans, quinoa, kale, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, turmeric, ginger, vinegar, and whey protein. A proponent of moderate amounts of grass-fed beef, he emphasizes wild-caught seafood, white meat poultry, eggs and nuts for high protein foods. Although portions of the book are repetitive and I found the instructions for exercise routines unnecessary and a bit out of place, its usefulness as a nutrition tool outlining the effect of various food groups on gut health, is excellent.

Personally, I liked the emphasis Gut Balance Revolution placed on phytonutrients and the overall message that the best medicine for our bodies is located in our grocery store rather than at our pharmacy. The importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and Dr. Mullin’s detailed explanations on the mechanics of how gut flora influences metabolism, helps your gut recover from antibiotics, boosts your immunity and helps fight inflammation that may lead to chronic diseases, provides further incentive that a diet incorporating super foods and making nutrient-dense choices when we eat can positively influence health outcomes. It also contributes additional evidence debunking the simple math equation of, “calories in-calories out.”

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