Book Reviews

Book Review: Food, medicine, and the quest for good health


What we eat, when, where, and with whom, varies in each culture. Regular eating times, in a calm environment, with plenty exchange of ideas and discussion with friends and family, all contribute to our health and its effect on

the body.

An overly starchy, fatty, salty, and sugary diet is considered unhealthy, and the author explains the reasons for such assertions, providing examples.

Most fast food outlets sell fatty, salty, starchy foods, and manufacturers use all of those ingredients and sugar.

She devotes considerable attention to each of these four foods.

The author helps us understand that health and body are entwined with a contingent upon perception of scientific knowledge of the time.

In the past, certain foods were thought to cure certain ailments, or at least to ease allergies. Yet, Chinese still believe ginko biloba, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken, along with many other foods help cure illnesses, or promote memory and enhance circulation.

Also, professor Chen discusses the role of excessive consumption of sugar, fat, salt, and flour in diminishing health and asserts that all must be consumed in moderation.

Her analysis of various diets that preoccupy millions in wealthy countries is particularly revealing and enlightening.

The book contains various parts. Chapter one deals with food as medicine, healing foods, and longevity, dietary prescriptions ad comfort foods, the second, medicine as food, nutraceuticals and functional foods, genetically modified foods and drugs.

A short chapter with conclusions sums up all facts mentioned in the book.

This is a well written book, that flows well, but above all, contains a lot of valuable information about food and how it affects us all.

Highly recommended.

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