Gut health 101: Our top 10 books for getting to know your gut

April 20, 2021

Gut health is one of the hottest topics in nutrition, and rightly so.

The trillions of microorganisms in our gut impact our mood, our metabolism and our health. Whether you're keen to broaden your understanding of how this incredible community of bugs impacts your health, or are looking to be inspired with delicious and gut-friendly recipes, here are some of the best books on gut health to help you on your way.

1. The Diet Myth by Professor Tim Spector

Generic "one-size-fits-all" advice treats us all the same, which is why most diets fail. Drawing on his years of pioneering research, our very own Professor Tim Spector (ZOE's scientific co-founder) unpicks why the key to health and weight loss lies not in the next fad diet - but in the gut bugs inside us - and how, by understanding our own unique biology, we can achieve a healthy gut and a healthy body.

2. Gut by Giulia Enders

A fun, fascinating foray into all things gut-related, this entertaining book explains everything from "how does pooping work?" to how our microbes can play a role in obesity and allergies.

3. Fiber fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz

Renowned gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (and the newest member of ZOE's Scientific Advisory Board) draws on decades of experience to explain to readers why gut health is the key to understanding our metabolism, balancing our hormones and harnessing our health. Fiber-fueled includes a 28-day plan to improve your health, complete with menus, veg-packed recipes and plenty of advice for dealing with food sensitivities.

4. Spoon-Fed by Professor Tim Spector

In this groundbreaking book, Professor Tim Spector reveals why almost everything that we've been told about food is wrong. Short, myth-busting chapters tackle topics such as calorie counting, gluten and nutritional guidelines, and force us to rethink our relationship with food.

5. Gut Garden by Katie Brosnan

Appealing to readers young and old, Gut Garden is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the digestive process. From the moment food enters our mouth to its journey out the other end, we are introduced to the millions of microbes that live along the way.

6. 10% Human by Alanna Collen

Biologist and science writer Alanna Collen reveals how our gut, with its 100 trillion microbes, influences everything from our weight, immunity and mental health, to our choice of partner. Punctuated with interesting case studies and practical advice for looking after your gut, 10% Human is a scientific deep dive into the mystery of the microbiome.

7. The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg

As well as leading the reader through the latest microbiome research, Stanford’s Justin and Erica Sonnenburg offer a plan for those looking to boost their good bugs. With tips on how to take care of your gut, and how to manage an ageing microbiome, this book combines the latest science with actionable and achievable advice.

8. The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection by Scott C. Anderson

A deep dive into the world of psychobiotics, and the concept that the brain and mental state are deeply connected to the microbiome. A must read for anyone interested in the link between mental health and diet, with lots of practical tips on how to use food to boost mood.

9. The Gut Stuff by Lisa McFarlane (pre-order)

After spending the past few years interviewing scientists, academics, chefs and foodies, Alana and Lisa McFarlane's new book is a wonderful introduction to taking control of your gut health. Packed with information on pre and probiotics, common digestive issues and plenty of tangible tips, this is an informative and entertaining beginners guide to the gut.

10 The Doctor's Kitchen by Rupy Aujila

Packed with delicious plant-based recipes, NHS doctor Rupy Aujila is passionate about using food as a tool to improve health. Containing more than 100 recipes, The Doctor's Kitchen is an excellent book for anyone looking for a little culinary inspiration.

At ZOE, we believe that understanding your gut is key to improving your health, and these books offer a chance to gain a greater appreciation of the trillions of microbes living inside you. However, we are all individual - and our microbiome is no exception. With our at-home test kit, you can discover the mix of bugs that are living in your gut, so that you’re able to better understand your own unique responses to food and take control of your health.

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