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Food and Healing Paperback – July 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (July 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345303857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345303851
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Ten years ago, Colbin's Food and Healing stood at the forefront of the food revolution, exploring the link between diet and health. In this anniversary edition, she provides updates on recent dietary systems, including low-fat, food combining, and alternative medicine.

More About the Author


Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., has been called "a maverick nutritional theorist" (1986) because of her original, unconventional and practical points of view about using fresh, whole, natural, real foods as the basis for a healthy diet. Interestingly, the whole mainstream has shifted in her direction, so she is no longer such an outsider. The school she founded on her principles in 1977, known as The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, has been a major resource for people interested in a career in healthful cooking for more than 30 years. Website: www.naturalgourmetinstitute.com.


Her 20+-year bestseller Food and Healing, is used as a textbook in natural healing schools. She expressed her points of view in her other books, and in her numerous articles, columns, interviews and classes. Her latest book is "The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones - a wholistic approach."

Dr Colbin is a health educator and an award-winning writer, consultant and lecturer; she has won awards for her writing, her business activities, and her teaching. She has taught at Empire State and Touro Colleges, at the Open Center, and yearly at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, as well as regularly at the NGI. Dr Colbin offers private wellness consultations, and is generally recognized as an expert in the uses of food for health. Website: www.foodandhealing.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
It is very dense, chock full of very valuable information and yet very easy to read.
Tina Marie
I just borrowed this book from a friend, and Colbin covers everything--there were several pages I xeroxed before returning it.
Loren E. Clive
This book is a good guide to helping us choose the proper nourishing foods for our body.
Nancy Jean Rose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. VINE VOICE on March 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although I don't necessarily agree with everything Annemarie Colbin has to say about food & health (for example, I believe that certain immunizations are a critical part of one's health care and not unnecessary or harmful), "Food and Healing" is an excellent and thoughtful treatment of a complex subject. The title may erroneously give the impression that the book is just for those who are ill. In fact, the book has a lot to offer to anyone who is interested in learning more about nutrition, and how what we eat can make us feel better or worse. We know that caffeine can give you energy or make you nervous, and that a high-fat diet can cause heart disease; Colbin theorizes that other kinds of food, food ingredients and even methods of preparation affect the body in different but no less profound ways. Particularly intriguing are Colbin's musings on "food philosphy": e.g., multi-faceted comparisons of different diets; how different thinkers approach food in a different philosophical way; various ways to look at food choices and their effects on the body. I was impressed by the breadth of the sources Colbin cites (although occasionally one finds an outdated reference, like the ones to the now-debunked Tasaday "tribe") and how she weaves everything together into a coherent and readable book. What really won me over, however, was Colbin's insistence on taking a flexible approach to eating. Colbin emphasizes that no diet should remain static, and we need to choose different kinds of diets to reflect and address what is going on in our lives at different times. She is remarkably open-minded and tolerant of all points of view, allowing the reader to take away nuggets of wisdom from unlikely sources. If some of the opinions expressed seemed a bit too airy-fairy for me (e.g.Read more ›
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By PB on January 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Annemarie Colbin lays out a myriad of information as to how foods affect your mood, energy and overall wellbeing. She describes in detail what happens when we eat certain foods, particularly in combinations which may explain why many of us can't lose weight or remain sick and tired. The descriptions of various popular diets is enlightening.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you missed Annemarie Colbin's fine book, Food and Healing, the first time around, it's back in a revised edition. First published in 1986, it rapidly became a classic exploration in detail of why and how we are what we eat. Reissued in 1996 by Ballantine with a new preface by the author, Food and Healing now incorporates the latest on low fat eating, findings on food combinations and new alternative medicine paths into what remains the Bible of the holistic view of food and health.
Ms. Colbin's view is thoroughly common sensical. She recognizes the fact that we are each individuals, and that once we have digested the facts, theories and proposals in her book we must make decide on what eating choices are best for us.
This is a thoughtful but not didactic book, solid and grounded in research, yet written with an entertaining touch. Rarely have we encountered a book that so well explains the nutritive quality of food, and its effects on body, mind and spirit. Don't miss it.
Review by Meredith Sayles Hughes
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book provided me with a new way of thinking about food and how it affects health and energy levels. Her explanations can be pretty "alternative" and many of them are not grounded in medical science, but as long as you're aware of that, this is a very practical book. As she points out, there are many connections in this world that conventional science is only starting to discover. Colbin's ideas work when put into practice.
If you're open to new ideas about food and diet, read this book. If you want to be vegetarian but don't feel good on a vegetarian diet, or if you aren't happy with how you eat but aren't sure what to do about it, read this book. She makes few judgements and refuses to label foods (or diets) "bad" or "good" - she just tells you what effects she's obseved and lets you draw your own conclusions. I appreciated her awareness that everybody's different; that depending on your climate, the season, your personal biochemistry, what you have eaten previously in your life, and even your job, your dietary needs will differ.
Colbin's cookbooks ("The Natural Gourmet" has delicious recipes) put her ideas into practice and prove that you can eat the way she recommends without feeling deprived.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Loren E. Clive on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I just borrowed this book from a friend, and Colbin covers everything--there were several pages I xeroxed before returning it. It doesn't propose any specific philosophy, rather it evaluates the effects of different foods on the body. She incorporates Chinese and ayurvedic philosophy also and details macrobiotics. I am vegan, and I especially recommend it for vegetarians since it explains how to balance your diet, making sure you get enough calcium and the essential B12. Colbin emphasizes all-natural foods and listening to your body. I'm gonna buy a copy when I get back to the states. Enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Barney on November 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first borrowed this book from my acupuncturist/naturopath, I didn't think I'd ever actually get through it. But what I found was that I ended up reading it like a novel -- fascinated to learn about foods the way she presented it.

For example -- it really helped me to undertand the effects of sugar in a new way. Sugar in small amounts creates individuation and sugar in large amounts creates alientation. Also, Americans eat about 20 times more sugar than we did 100 years ago, and the average juvenile delinquent does 40 times more. And when the juvenile delinquents had sugar removed from their diet and replaced with fruits and vegges, they violence reduced and they began falling into the range of normal.

I used to keep it in my cube at work, and refer to it to offer suggestions to handling ailments. One time a guy at work cancelled an appointment because of a migraine. So when he made it in a few days later, we went through the book to see the cause an found some foods he had eaten a day or so before the migraine. He came to me 9 months later and said he had not had a migraine since.

This book provides a great model for understanding how diet can be used to help balance us from a physical, mental and emotional perspective.

Thanks Dr. Colbin!
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