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Lifestyle

The 7 Best Gut Health Books by Doctors Who Really Know Their Sh*t

Thousands of pages of recipes and microbiome protocols, straight from the experts.
By Rebekah Harding
May 23, 2024

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If you’re part of the two-thirds of Americans who are living with persistent digestive issues (1), you probably know a thing or two about curating a toilet-side book stand. The good news: adding a few gut health books written by experts to your commode collection could help you spend less time in the bathroom. 

We compiled a list of the best gut health books written by doctors who have spent decades researching the gut microbiome, chronic digestive conditions like IBS and Crohn’s Disease, gut-supporting diets, and more. They cover topics like how to balance your microbiome, what you should add to your gut-friendly shopping list, easily digestible (and delicious) recipes, and how your gut influences the health of all your other systems.

YOUR LONGEVITY READING LIST

The Best Gut Health Books by Doctors

The Microbiome Diet

By Dr. Raphael Kellman

Your gut microbiome is made up of various healthy and harmful bacteria, microorganisms, and fungi that live in your digestive tract. Diets high in processed foods and refined sugar can cause the harmful gut flora to outnumber the healthy ones, which can cause symptoms like weight gain and digestive issues. In The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss, functional medicine doctor Raphael Kellman, M.D., draws on his two decades of experience as an intestinal health specialist to outline a microbiome-balancing diet plan to promote permanent weight loss and healthy digestion. This book contains more than 50 gut-healing recipes, meal-planning strategies, shopping lists, and how to rest your metabolism.

Healthy Gut, Healthy You

By Dr. Michael Ruscio

Your gut is closely connected to your hormones, brain, thyroid, skin, and sleep, according to functional and integrative medicine doctor Michael Ruscio, M.D. And when your gut health is out of whack, the rest of your system starts to suffer. In his book Healthy Gut, Healthy You, Ruscio explains how to reset your gut and breaks down the “Great-in-8” action plan that combines a low-FODMAP diet, supplements, and emerging treatments to help heal your gut microbiome in eight steps. He also dives into the best protocol for using prokinetics—a class of supplements that speed things up in the bathroom.

Clean Gut

By Dr. Alejandro Junger

According to author and internal medicine doctor Alejandro Junger, M.D., many of today’s most diagnosed conditions—whether it be obesity, allergies, cancer, or autoimmune disorders—can be traced back to an angry, inflamed gut. Among the contents of Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health, Junger explains how to reverse illness before it takes root in your digestive system, how medicine can interact with your gut microbiome, and which foods to add to your shopping list to cut down on your toilet time.

Love Your Gut

By Dr. Megan Rossi

Weird question, but do you love your gut? Neither do we. But gut health doctor and dietician Megan Rossi, Ph.D, R.D., is trying to change that. Her book Love Your Gut: Supercharge Your Digestive Health and Transform Your Well-Being from the Inside Out includes a microbiome health self-assessment, steps to make your own gut-healing action plan, and 50 plant- and fiber-filled recipes. (We’re eyeing the Creamy Pistachio and Spinach Pesto Pasta, which packs in 9 grams of protein per portion).

The Mind-Gut Connection

By Dr. Emeran Mayer

Ever felt butterflies before heading out for a first date? Or maybe you’ve had to run to the toilet for a pit stop before an important presentation? That’s your mind-gut connection at work—and it goes both ways. In The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health, neurobiologist Emeran Mayer, M.D., breaks down how what you eat can influence your mood, stave off neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and reduce fatigue. Plus, how you can heal your gut with a plant-based diet and erase discomfort from bloating and heartburn.

The Microbiome Solution

By Dr. Robynne Chutkan

Getting dirty and exposing yourself to bacteria and pathogens doesn’t sound like a recipe for good health to most of us. But gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan, M.D., would say otherwise. In The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out, Chutkan explains how living “super sanitized” could be screwing with your microbiome and how to tweak your diet and probiotic intake to heal your gut. You’ll find a list of questions for your next doctor’s visit, preventative health tips, and gut-healing recipes. Spoiler: Read to the end to get the lowdown on a strange—and kind of gross—new gut healing treatment: a stool transplant.

The Good Gut

By Drs. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg

Did you know that your gut microbiome ages with you? Married Stanford microbiologists Justin and Erica Sonnenburg, Ph.D.s team up to break down how to manage an aging microbiota to promote longevity in The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health. They also include the best recipes and a menu plan for a healthy microbiota—plus, how to tweak your diet and lifestyle to support your individual microbiome.

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