Food Pharmacy: A Guide to Gut Bacteria, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Eating for Health – Lina Aurell and Mia Clase

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Stig Bengmark, Md, Phd maintains that about 80% of our body’s immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. So accordingly we can influence our intestinal flora and the way we feel in the short and long term by our food choices.

Authors Lina Aurell and Mia Clase are ardent followers of Dr. Bengmark’s studies and present the application for the real world in their book, Food Pharmacy. They explain the scientific research and infuse it with humor to make it relatable to the rest of us. They list anti-inflammatory superfoods, promote intermittent fasting and suggest lowering the temperature in cooking your food. Eat meat sparingly, base your plate mostly on raw vegetables and strive to eliminate sugar. They go into detail on how to do all of this and include recipes.

Yes, we should strive for the “perfect plate”, but both of them realize that we live in the real world. The two of them aren’t perfect. One even likes to indulge in chocolate and margaritas!

It took me a few chapters to get into the book, even though they state from the beginning that we should do what we can and not stress on the rest. It finally sunk in after they continually remind us to take baby steps and only do what we’re ready to do.

“Only you know what works best for you. Do everything at once or concentrate on one chapter at a time. Or one recipe. Or just one word.” For instance, they suggest eliminating bread. Though they provide compelling evidence, I love bread and don’t want to give it up. So they suggest baking your own. If that’s too much, then buy from a bakery instead of a grocery store. OK, I can do that.

Finally they go into the politics of health and food. They live in Sweden so I imagine they don’t have as far to go as we do in the United States.

I will refer to Food Pharmacy often and see if I can incorporate at least something into my lifestyle. That’s all I can commit to, and that’s all they’re asking for.

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