Sometimes I feel like I’m over-read on the topic of nutrition. Despite this, I really like finding new nutrition books. They help me to keep my focus and remind me of why I make the food choices that I do. Granted, I don’t come across too much information that I haven’t read before, but it is still a great way to keep this topic at the front of my mind. I decided to pick up a copy of Superfoods RX after seeing it highly recommended, and I’m really glad that I did.
Superfoods RX profiles 14 foods that “will change your life”. These foods are beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey and walnuts. One of the things that I really appreciate about this book is that it is really more like 14 food categories, rather than 14 individual foods. So, while pumpkin is excellent, the real point of the chapter on pumpkin is to remind you of why orange veggies in general are so important.
In each chapter, Dr. Pratt (an ophthalmologist, btw) describes a superfood, its “sidekicks” (similarly healthy foods), and explains some of the research and benefits of the superfood. I enjoyed reading a chapter or two at a time, and it really did help me to be more mindful about consuming a variety of healthy foods. It is easy to get stuck in a rut, and I liked that this book gave me some gentle nudges to eat several healthy foods that I like, but I don’t always use in my regular rotation.
I really appreciate that he keeps going back to the reasons why you should be getting your nutrition through the whole food and not through supplements. He mentions the synergy of whole foods over and over again, and I think that is a fantastic message.
The main downside of this book for me was his insistence on low/no-fat dairy and his strong opinions against coconut oil. I happen to be a firm believer in the benefits of full-fat, raw dairy and unprocessed coconut oil. I also wouldn’t recommend the use of canola oil, although he does. Additionally, I probably would’ve nixed soy from the superfoods list, but I can appreciate why he came to the conclusion that he did. Each of these things is easy to adjust for your personal convictions, though, and weren’t enough to strongly sway my opinion on the book.
The second half of this book contains recipes, shopping lists and brand recommendations for each of the superfoods. That part of the book could make it worth buying (rather than checking out from the library) if you need some fresh ideas on how to prepare the superfoods. If you don’t live near a Trader Joes then this section will be a bit less helpful, because he is clearly a big fan of their items.
Overall, I really liked this book. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about the importance of healthy, whole foods. I also think this book is good for those of us who already know why whole foods are important in our diet, but would like a reminder and some fresh motivation for eating our fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.