Book Review: Food as Medicine : International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases

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Book Review

Book Review

Food as Medicine

Mohammed, Sawsan1; Walid Qoronfleh, M.2,

Author Information
International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases 12(4):p 327-328, Oct–Dec 2022. | DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_51_22
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Bibliographic information:

Book Title: Food as Medicine

Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, NY

Year of publication: 2013

Book Link:

Book Cover: Image inserted


Musthafa Mohamed Essa1, Mushtaq A. Memon2

1Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

2Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA

Total Number of Chapters: 24 chapters.

In 2013, a book entitled “Food as Medicine” was published by a reputable US-based publisher Nova Science Publishers, Inc, New York [Figure 1]. The book is authored by two well-established scientists, Dr. Musthafa Mohamed Essa of Sultan Qaboos University and Dr. Mushtaq A. Memon of Washington State University. This book is unique as it introduces and revives the concept of food as medicine. This book builds on a widespread quote, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” often ascribed to Hippocrates (400 BC). This book positively influenced the concept of “Food as Medicine.” This work has been extended and led to the publication of two other books. The first is an award-winning book published by Nova Science Publishers in 2016 entitled “Food and Parkinson’s Disease” (, and the second also is an award-winning book titled “Personalized Food Intervention and Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder Management” published by Springer ( Both books focus on alternative therapeutic approaches for managing diseases.

Figure 1:
Book cover Food As Medicine.

There is currently a growing body of evidence that supplementing the human diet with natural products significantly benefits human health and well-being.[1] Nowadays, the use of complementary or alternative medicine, functional foods, and especially the consumption of natural products has been increasing rapidly worldwide. To a large extent, this consumption is driven by their supposedly less frequent side effects. In conventional and traditional medicines, food and natural products provide valuable therapeutic agents. The issues regarding the efficacy and safety of currently available modern medicine agents have prompted the search for safer and more effective alternatives.

Many bioactive food ingredients play a pivotal role in the prevention and protection/management of chronic diseases. For example, evidence suggests that natural phytochemical products, such as polyphenolic antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, and nuts, may guard against neurodegenerative diseases improving memory, cognition, and other brain functions.[23]

The book is intended for a broad audience. It contains a comprehensive collection of the beneficial features of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and medicinal plants and herbs, against various diseases and how they should be utilized to obtain all their qualities and benefits. In this regard, the book is enlightening, discerning, and holistic. The authors have carefully selected the themes and topics to cover highly relevant foods. The book is composed of 24 chapters. The book chapters are presented by discussing specific foods and their bioactive phytocompounds. In a typical narrative, authors introduce the food or its pharmacologically active molecule(s). Then they discuss its overall health benefits and provide evidence-based research on its functionality. Finally, where appropriate, they offer a discourse on the molecular mechanisms behind bioactive compounds’ ameliorating/protective effects. Examples of food discussed include nuts and seeds (like almonds), herbs (like ginger, ginseng, and turmeric), fruits (like avocado, blueberries, carrots, honeysuckles, Indian gooseberry, and guava), vegetables (like onion, garlic, and mushrooms), oils (like olive oil and fish oil), and bioactive molecules (like the flavonoid fisetin and dietary supplements such as amino acids).

Lastly, this book contains a comprehensive collection of research studies that will benefit students at various levels, researchers in several disciplines (such as alternative medicine, nutrition, neuroscience, agriculture, food science, and therapeutic treatment), and many others interested in this discipline. The book also can be used as a required or recommended text for related courses taught at universities.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1. Cena H, Calder PC. Defining a healthy diet: evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns in health and disease Nutrients. 2020;12:334
2. Akbar M, Song BJ, Essa MM, Khan MA. Pomegranate: an ideal fruit for human health Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis. 2015;5:141–3
3. Venkateshgobi V, Rajasankar S, Johnson WM, Prabu K, Ramkumar M. Neuroprotective effect of Agaricus blazei extract against rotenone-induced motor and nonmotor symptoms in experimental model of Parkinson’s disease Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis. 2018;8:59–65

Functional food; Diet; Nutrition; Natural products; Phytochemicals; Bioactives; Traditional Medicine

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