This book blew my mind in terms of the information it offered on both: how best to prepare/cook vegetables and fruits to preserve their nutritional benefits, as well as, what are the general health offerings of each fruit and vegetable. Basically, the best foods to each for your ultimate health.
Having been impassioned with the topic of all things health since I was 20, on stumbling across this book, I snatched it up. The first 2 years of college, I spent in pursuit of a degree in Nutritional Science (before switching to Communications). Thus, I got a not insignificant amount of coursework under my belt with regards to classes on nutrition, physical health, drugs and alcohol, anatomy and physiology, exercise, and more.
Since then, I have continued to be fascinating by and engaged with all things health. From exercising regularly, to sampling all manner of varying workout classes, cooking and baking healthier versions of traditional recipes (especially desserts without gluten or far less sugar), to reading and writing about health. I love this topic. So naturally, the book drew me.
Having read what I would guess to be around 15 books on physical health/diet (and that isn’t including books on emotional health, which is probably hovering around 20 or so), some of the information in these books does eventually overlap a bit. With that said, this book was excellent and unique for a few reasons.
Some health books, as you might imagine, tend towards being dry. Difficult to read, as they arent especially personable or engaging but tending more towards technical and science-y. This book isn’t that. Instead, her writing is conversational, personable, and engaging.
What this book does which no other health book I’ve yet read did: she writes a chapter on every single fruit and vegetable. Outlining the history of that particular food, from where it came to how its evolved now. And then she talks about how to store as well as prepare to item in question to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
For example: did you know that the longer you cook tomatoes, the more they increase in lycopene, which is a cancer fighting phytochemical in tomatoes. However, broccoli should be eaten nearly raw (at the most, steamed for just 4 minutes max). If you cook broccoli further, you sap it of nearly all the awesome nutritional benefits it offers, so you are essentially eating something with a nutritional offering akin to cardboard.
Also, setting a watermelon out on the counter at room temperature for several days allows its nutritional content to increase, many times over. And, garlic is one of the most healing, anti cancerous items you can possibly eat, BUT, the key to getting these health altering benefits lies in crushing or cutting up the garlic and then letting it sit for 10 minutes. This allows the two chemicals within which need to bond in order to create these incredible benefits, to do so. If you dont wait the 10 minutes, its akin to just eating a tasty flavoring. No nutritional benefits garnered. Thus, the 10 minutes is unquestionably worth the wait. So remember: press, then rest (with regards to garlic).
This book is chock full of way more information that can revolutionize how you prepare and eat food. A life changing, health changing, very worthwhile read.