Book Review - 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life
I am always on a quest to feed my family healthier foods. The problem is we deal with food allergies and having four children all with varying degrees of pickiness. This makes it hard, however I am always trying to learn more about foods - about what they do for you, why they are good for you, better ways to prepare them, and making them taste good enough for the kids to eat. This sounds impossible, but after reading the book 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life by David Grotto it has gotten a little bit easier for me.
I absolutely love the way this book is laid out. It is so easy to read with tons of good information about each food on the list. You can look in the contents for a quick run down in alphabetical order of the 101 foods. After a brief introduction, the book jumps right into the top 101 foods. Grotto goes through them alphabetically and gives the reader more information than they probably ever wanted on each food.
For each food it is broken down into sections of information. First there is a short tidbit of information about the food. Then there is a section on exactly what the food is and where it comes from. For example apples are members of the rose family and there are over 7,500 varieties grown throughout the world. (p17). Next comes a bit of history as to how it originated, what time period it was discovered, etc. I found this part interesting.
Grotto talks about where the food is grown next. Then comes why I wanted to read the book - a section that tells you why you should eat each food. This is where all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are listed - many of them I could never begin to pronounce, but it is good to see what the foods offer my body. This is followed by a section on home remedies that each food is either good for or has been used for in the past.
I found the next section "Throw Me a Lifesaver!" to be very interesting. Grotto goes into detail about how each food helps the body in specific ways. For example on page 148 he details how ginger helps to fight morning sickness and motion sickness. Ginger also has been found to help people with osteoarthritis and cancer; specifically ovarian cancer and colon cancer. He goes into details as to how and sometimes even cites studies that have been done showing how these foods help. He has certainly done his research on the top 101 foods.
There is still more information about each food though. There are tips for using the foods and even a recipe for each food in the book. You might think the book is huge with all this information but it is only 356 pages - about 3 pages devoted to each food. Grotto has been very thorough in this book, however it is a quick read (if you skip over the words you can't pronounce) and is very concise and well written.
Of the 101 foods on Grotto's list we eat 36 of them pretty consistently. There are another ten to fifteen that we eat occasionally when they are in season and readily available. This isn't bad, but it could certainly be better. There were some foods on the list that I had never heard of such as cardamom and teff. There were some surprises in chocolate and coffee (believe me we have those areas covered here).
I found 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life very helpful and interesting. Reading this book has helped me gain a better understanding of why we should be eating the foods that everyone knows are good for you. It provides a little added motivation to eat the foods you have grown up disliking. Time to try something new! I just hope the kids are game for this. My goal is to get us eating more than 60 of these foods on a regular basis. If you are looking to improve the way you eat, this is a great book to help you on your journey.