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Foods That Fight Pain


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About the Author

Neal Barnard, M.D., is president of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine, editor-in-chief of the newsletter Good Medicine, and a member of the advisory board of Vegetarian Times magazine. Dr. Barnard travels widely giving lectures on nutrition and health.


A physician and author of several diet and health books (e.g., Eat Right, Live Longer, LJ 4/15/95), Barnard has written an extensive consumer book on diet therapy for pain. Each chapter discusses a different type of pain, complete with scientific evidence and explanations of the origins of the pain, foods that trigger it, and foods that reduce it. The last chapter offers pain-control recipes contributed by Jennifer Raymond, the author of numerous health-related recipe books (e.g., Fat Free & Easy, Heart & Soul, 1997). Already familiar with cholesterol-lowering recipes, Raymond has incorporated Barnard's pain-control foods into her easy recipes and even tried them on family and friends. Compared with other books on diet therapy, which focus mainly on arthritis pains, this book has a wider coverage, touching on issues such as poor circulation, food sensitivities and inflammatory pain, hormone-related pain, and metabolic and immune problems. A highly informative book for consumers seeking alternative therapy for chronic pains. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/98.]‘Lily Liu, Arkansas Children's Hosp. Lib., Little Rock

Although the strategies laid out by Barnard have, despite the subtitle's claim, been presented in other health books, they've seldom been explained this succinctly. According to Barnard (Food for Life), certain foods and nutritional supplements can alleviate pain as well as or better than prescription drugs. From backaches to bowel problems, cancer to canker sores, Barnard offers clear explanations of the physical processes involved as well as practical dietary and nutritional advice. No matter what the problem, for starters he recommends a low-fat, high-fiber, strictly vegetarian diet, the same as the one prescribed for heart patients by Dr. Dean Ornish, whom he quotes extensively. Citing scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence, Barnard tells how powdered ginger, for example, can prevent motion sickness, alleviate migraines and the pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis. Vitamin B6 can be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome as well as menstrual pain. Lists of "trigger" foods to avoid for various health conditions are valuable, if sometimes daunting: for example, the trigger foods for arthritis include all dairy products, all meat (including fish), wheat, citrus fruit, potatoes, tomatoes, nuts and coffee. A hefty section of menus and recipes by Jennifer Raymond makes it easier to practice what Barnard preachesÄa technical sermon whose main message is: eat your veggies. Author tour. (June)

"Dr. Neal Barnard is one of the most responsible and authoritative voices in American medicine today." ----Andrew Weil, M.D., author of 8 Weeks to Optimal Health and Spontaneous Healing

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