We read for pleasure and for education, but we should also read for our health. The six pillars of lifestyle medicine—nutrition, physical activity, restorative sleep, social connection, stress management, avoidance of risky substances—have inspired this month’s reading list.There is no shortage of books detailing how healthy-habits can impact our long-term well-being. Your Kinwell clinician can help identify which areas of your routine would benefit from education and adjustment. The titles below empower the reader to take an active role in preventing and managing chronic conditions. Many are available at libraries and as audio-books.


The Blue Zones by  Dan Beuttner

This popular book uncovers the secrets of regions around the world where healthy habits lead to high concentrations of centenarians. Journalist Beuttner identifies the commonalities between these “blue zones” which include a plant-based diet, daily activity, and strong social connections.


Mastering Diabetes by Cyrus Khambatta, PHD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

The subtitle for this book summarizes it well: “The revolutionary method to reverse insulin resistance permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.” The authors’ strategy for lowering A1C and reversing insulin resistance  involves a plant-based diet with plenty of carbohydrates and limited fats.


Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

This New York Times bestseller presents the results of Dr. Esselstyn’s research on nutrition and heart disease. They indicate that heart disease can be prevented with a plant-based, oil-free diet that lowers cholesterol levels, widens arteries, and increases blood flow.


The Relaxation Revolution by Dr. Herbert Benson

This title from 2010 still resonates as a foundational text in the mind-body movement. Dr. Benson builds on his earlier research from the 1970s to argue that there is a stress component in many chronic illnesses and that relaxation can counteract the harmful effects of stress.


How Not to Die by Michael Greger, MD

In another popular title on the New York Times Bestseller List, this book sparked a mini industry of related titles, including How Not to Diet and How Not to Age. The original book examines the top 15 causes of death in America, including cancer and heart disease. Dr. Greger relates how each condition is a result of specific lifestyle habits.


The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells

This book makes the connection between sleep, diet, and activity. Improving one element will improve the others, harnessing the ripple effect for better health and quality of life.


In addition to the above titles, the ACLM has a page of tools and resources for patients and has collaborated on several books for healthcare professionals including The Manual of Lifestyle Medicine, Empowering Behavior Change in Patients, and Obesity Prevention and Treatment. Each has been edited by cardiologist James M. Rippe and covers various aspects of lifestyle medicine.