I am a little late to post some of my favorite health books for 2020 like I do each year but here they are nevertheless. I hope that you find great value in reading them as well! You may notice a pattern or think to yourself, “Does this woman read anything other than topics about breathwork, the brain, and genetics?!” Well, I must say, they are some of my favourite subjects! I am always trying to stay on top of my knowledge and understanding with respect to these topics; always remaining appraised of new health research and scientific discoveries. It’s very important to me personally and professionally to be learning and growing every day constantly. 

top 2020 book reads

Here are 10 books I loved in 2020:

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health by Dr. Ben Lynch

This is a great book that talks about SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), or errors in our genetic code. If someone is interested in digging deeper into their genetics and discovering what they can do about them once they identify what their SNPs are, this is a great place to start. This is a very practical book where the author talks about the specific ones we can actually have an impact on via our lifestyle. I don’t know about you, but I get excited about anything related to my health that I can take into my own hands and change for the better! 

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor – 

This book is all about breathwork and its importance; James is one of the go-to people surrounding this subject. It’s amazing how something as simple as our breath can be utilized in a way that is so beneficial for us. Many people are not aware of how incredible breathing exercises can be for our bodies and minds. This book does an amazing job at highlighting this.

Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential by Wim Hof – 

The Wim Hof method has been gaining major popularity recently. To explain it simply, it is essentially about hyperventilation and using cold to help stabilize the autonomic nervous system and activate the full potential of your body. His techniques are summarized in the book in a really easy-to-digest way which I thought was great!

The Oxygen Advantage: The Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques for a Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter You by Patrick McKeown

I am currently getting trained on this method so I really enjoyed reading this book and gaining even more knowledge. The Oxygen Advantage was originally focused more on athletes and increasing sports performance, but the author has since taken it to a whole new level for everyone to benefit from breathwork, not just athletes. This method, I would say, is more “gentle” on the body compared to the Wim Hof method in that it doesn’t have to shock your flight or fight system. I really enjoyed being able to read both books and learn about both techniques and then be able to compare and contrast.

Bio-Feedback for the Brain: How Neurotherapy Effectively Treats Depression, ADHD, and Autism, and More by Paul G. Swingle – 

This book is all about using biofeedback via different tools that are accessible to us to really help retrain the brain, especially when people suffer from neurological issues. The author provides several fascinating case examples that the reader can follow to better understand what is being taught.

The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Elizabeth Blackburn – 

Telomeres, for those wondering, are basically described as the tips of our genes, or DNA strands. The longer telomeres are, or are kept, the younger we are (technically)! This book is all about living younger, healthier, and longer. The authors provide tools and practical ways to have an impact on our longevity, through things like lifestyle changes and modifications. 

Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism by Stanley Rosenburg – 

This is just one of the several books that I’ve read about the Vagus Nerve, this one being written by an older gentleman who has quite a lot of experience with bodywork, meaning a hands-on approach to affecting the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body, also known as the 10th cranial nerve, connecting the brain to the gut. We call it the brake pedal, it is the parasympathetic’s rest and digest nerve. A lot of research and emphasis has been put on the vagus nerve in recent years and as a chiropractor, I get very excited about it because when we perform chiropractic adjustments we help the body balance or activate the vagus nerve.  

Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience Through the New Biology by Sayer Ji – 

Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo, an online resource for all things natural health, and he has put together a pretty extensive book on how to create resilience within ourselves. I think 2021 is a good time for all of us to learn more about building resilience and I gained a lot of wisdom from this book last year. This book is full of scientific yet easy to read information that we could all benefit from.

Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To by David A. Sinclair – 

I must say, this book is a little bit more controversial for me, largely due to the author suggesting supplementations that are more chemically focused than I would typically like or be inclined to recommend. Nonetheless, I really appreciated the read and I always like to read things to make sure I stay current; I don’t necessarily have to implement everything from every book. It’s important to read things that don’t always align with all of our viewpoints so we aren’t taking information in a vacuum. 

Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power by Kristen Willeumier

I really, really enjoyed this book. This book is all about what people can do to protect their brain! This is a topic that is very dear to me having a mother with Alzeimers I am always on the lockout to learn more about brain health. The author, Kristen, is a neuroscientist who worked at the Amen Clinics and has extensive experience doing specific types of brain scans and has first-hand knowledge of the implementation of lifestyle changes and what it does to the brain. This is a great resource for people who are interested in taking better care of their cognitive health. 

There you have it – my top 10 books from 2020, in no particular order. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you found a few new books to add to your reading list in 2021!