What, you didn’t get around to reading every health and wellness book that debuted this year?
Neither did we, but we certainly read a lot of them, and among the many titles that tackled everything from how gluten affects your brain to how you can use simple tricks to de-stress and get happier, there were a few that stood out.
These 10 books, all of which came out in 2014, left a huge impression on Well+Good readers, inspiring reflection, habit changes, and we’re thinking some passionate book club discussions. (We left out straight cookbooks, by the way, because there were about a million and a half of those this year.) If you missed one, it’s not too late to pick it up for a healthier 2015.
1. The Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey
Dave Asprey become a worldwide sensation after popularizing his healthy beverage of choice—coffee with butter. And whether you’re into it or not, his first book is a fascinating look at the 15 years he spent “hacking” his own biology to figure out how to live well.
2. Grain Brain, David Perlmutter, MD
Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter connects devilish gluten (and its evil sidekick, sugar) to all kinds of mental health issues—from ADHD to depression—in this bestseller.
3. The Art of Eating Well, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
This pretty, weighty book from London-based healthy lifestyle gurus and sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (AKA Hemsley+Hemsley) is like a coffee table book for your kitchen counter, with recipes and advice for eating and living well, while making it look gorgeous.
4. The Body Book, Cameron Diaz
Diaz broke the mold by penning a super-smart celebrity health book (with co-author Sandra Bark), which reads as a summary of vetted fitness and nutrition science and smart self-care advice you can use.
5. Miracles Now, Gabrielle Bernstein
This guidebook is the most actionable title yet from spiritual teacher and prolific author Gabrielle Bernstein, who shares 108 small tools—some as simple as breathing techniques—for beating stress and living a more purposeful life.
6. Make Your Own Rules Diet, Tara Stiles
Tara Stiles finally gets to be herself in this new book, offering up a scrapbook style collection of what makes her tick—from yoga sequences, meditations, and easy recipes—all with the simple intention of inspiring you to take excellent care of yourself.
7. I Am That Girl, Alexis Jones
Well+Good readers flipped for modern-day feminist Alexis Jones’ first book—and so did her celeb friends like Hillary Duff and Kristen Bell—because of its message of female empowerment (and steps for getting there).
8. The Microbiome Diet, Raphael Kellman, MD
Thick with scientific arguments, this one’s not necessarily a breezy read, but it’s a detailed look at the importance of the bacteria that call you home and how you can tweak your habits to get your microbiome in line for better digestion, metabolism, and immunity.
9. I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson
Sugar’s never had a good reputation, but Sarah Wilson is one of the many experts sounding an alarm about how out-of-control its place in our food supply has gotten, with her own story of giving it up, and advice on how you can, too.
10. The Real Food Revolution, Rep. Tim Ryan
Most politician’s books are biographical, and full of platitudes on a career served. This one looks ahead, and beyond party politics, to growing tensions and important issueswith our food system, that everyone—from Washington to your grocery store clerk and you—should be paying attention to.