Anna Evans

The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook by C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD

Discover an abundance of insights into the healing power of everyday foods.

The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook

The book has gotten 4.8 ⭐️ on Amazon.

In a world where health-conscious choices are becoming increasingly essential, the idea of using food as a source of healing and wellness is gaining prominence. The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook by C. Norman Shealy stands as a beacon in this holistic approach to well-being.

Author’s background

C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, DSc, FACS, DABNS, holds the position of President at Shealy-Sorin Wellness and Holos Energy Medicine Education, located in Springfield, Missouri.

C. Norman Shealy (r)

In 1971, he introduced the groundbreaking concept of Holistic Medicine, marked by the introduction of spinal cord stimulation and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). Dr. Shealy serves as the editor of the Journal of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine. Notably, he played a pivotal role as the founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association in 1978. With an impressive body of work, he has authored 36 books and penned over 350 articles.

Dr. Shealy’s illustrious career has been honoured with several lifetime achievement awards in the fields of Medicine, Holism, Wellness, Innovation, Education, and Science, highlighting his remarkable contributions to humanity.

What is the book about?

The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook serves as an invaluable A-Z guide to harnessing the natural healing power of food. This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated reference book explores over 300 superfoods, providing a detailed nutritional breakdown and highlighting their unique properties for quick and easy reference.

It goes beyond the conventional knowledge of foods like honey, lemon, and oranges as natural remedies and delves into the health benefits of less commonly recognised items like blueberries and kale. With sections covering a wide range of food categories, from fruits, grains, and nuts to meats, herbs, and seafood, this book empowers readers to make simple dietary adjustments that can have a profound impact on their overall health.

Whether you’re looking to boost your antioxidant intake with acai berries or improve digestion with chia seeds, this guide offers practical insights to make these dietary changes straightforward and accessible. By exploring the healing potential of everyday foods, this sourcebook encourages readers to take control of their health and well-being from within.

Six key takeaways from The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook

1Including foods rich in antioxidants in your diet is crucial for well-being

Antioxidants are vital for maintaining good health, particularly when a significant portion of your diet consists of plant-based foods. These compounds play a crucial role in reducing the harmful effects of free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to various diseases. The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a valuable measure of antioxidant capacity.

Key antioxidants include anthocyanins found in red, orange, and blue fruits and vegetables, as well as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and carotenoids like beta carotene, astaxanthin, and lycopene. CoQ10 is another essential immune-boosting antioxidant, especially for individuals taking statin drugs.

Flavonoids and polyphenols are additional antioxidants found abundantly in fruits and vegetables, collectively contributing to overall health.

2Vitamins are necessary for overall health, and understanding their roles and recommended dosages is essential

Vitamin A, primarily found in fish oils and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables, should not exceed 5,000 units daily to avoid toxicity.

The B vitamins are essential for metabolism and brain function, with larger dosages often necessary under stress. Notable B vitamins include B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), B12 (cobalamin), and others, each with specific functions and dosages.

Vitamin C is vital for the immune system, with a recommended intake of 2,000 mg daily for adults, while vitamin D3, critical for immune and bone health, requires at least 2,000 units daily and is best obtained through sun exposure.

Vitamin E, encompassing tocopherols and tocotrienols, plays roles in various bodily functions, with a mixture of 100 mg of tocotrienols as an optimal daily intake.

The interaction between vitamins A, C, and E is noteworthy, emphasising the importance of maintaining balanced vitamin intake for optimal health.

3Avoid high-carbohydrate foods: wheat, sugar and corn-based fructose

Carbohydrates play a central role in our energy production, but excessive consumption of processed white wheat products, table sugar (sucrose), and corn-based fructose is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. These artificial products not only lack nutritional value but also deplete the body’s vitamins and minerals during metabolism.

To maintain good health, it is advisable to avoid high-carbohydrate foods, including fast food and heavily processed items, which often contain toxins. Natural sources of carbohydrates found in fruits and starchy vegetables are healthier choices as they come with essential nutrients and fibre.

Understanding glycemic load, blood sugar levels, and the potential harm caused by excess sugar intake, including the risks of diabetes and chronic diseases, is crucial for making informed dietary choices.

4Learn more about essential fats and include them in your diet for optimal health benefits

Saturated fats have no open hydrogen bonds, monounsaturated fats have one, and polyunsaturated fats, often hydrogenated into trans-fats, have multiple open hydrogen bonds and should be avoided.

Omega-3 fats are essential for their anti-inflammatory properties and numerous health benefits, best sourced from wild salmon, grass-fed meats, and specific seeds and oils.

Omega-6 fats are also essential but overabundant in the average diet due to their prevalence in processed oils, with evening primrose and blackcurrant seed oils being better sources. The ideal ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is 1:1 for optimal health benefits.

Omega-9 fats, although monounsaturated, are not essential when sufficient omega-3s and omega-6s are consumed.

A balanced intake of these fats from natural sources like nuts, seeds, and oils is crucial for maintaining overall health.

5Essential amino acids are vital building blocks for various bodily functions

There are nine essential amino acids, with taurine also considered essential by some. These amino acids are crucial for maintaining health, supporting various bodily functions, and preventing deficiencies.

Examples include:

  • histidine, which aids in allergy reduction and carbon monoxide protection;

  • isoleucine, leucine, and valine – branched-chain amino acids, important for muscle building and protein synthesis;

  • lysine, which helps in treating herpes and collagen formation;

  • methionine, a sulfur-containing amino acid important for detoxification and wound healing;

  • phenylalanine, a muscle-building block and mood stabiliser;

  • taurine, which aids in membrane stability and is deficient in conditions like epilepsy and depression;

  • threonine, essential for collagen production and overall health;

  • tryptophan, vital for serotonin production and mood stability.

Additionally, conditionally essential amino acids like arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine play specific roles in health, and non-essential amino acids are important for normal bodily functions and rarely deficient except in cases of severe malnutrition.

6Maintain mineral balance to stay healthy

Minerals play essential roles in maintaining overall health.

Calcium is crucial for bone strength and blood pH regulation, while carbon is a building block for organic matter.

Chlorine, mainly as chloride, helps maintain fluid balance, blood volume, and blood pH.

Hydrogen is a component of organic compounds, while magnesium is critical for enzyme function and cellular charge balance, with deficiencies linked to various health issues.

Phosphorus deficiency is rare, and potassium is vital for nerve conduction and blood pressure regulation, primarily sourced from fruits and vegetables.

Sodium is an important electrolyte but excess contributes to hypertension. Sulphur, mainly from amino acids, supports joint health and various metabolic functions.

Trace minerals like boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, strontium, vanadium, and zinc are required in smaller amounts but are essential for various health functions, from bone strength to immune support and blood sugar regulation.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fruits and Fruit Juices

  • Grains

  • Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings

  • Legumes (Pulses)

  • Meats

  • Mushrooms

  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Poultry

  • Seafood and Fish

  • Treats

  • Vegetables, Non-starchy

  • Vegetables, Starchy

  • List of Searchable Terms

  • Select Bibliography

  • About the Publisher

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Comprehensive information: Readers appreciate the book’s comprehensive information on vitamins, minerals, and their role in health, which serves as a valuable resource for understanding nutrition.

  • Holistic approach: The book’s emphasis on a holistic approach to addressing illness and health issues is well-received by readers who value a more natural perspective on healthcare.


  • Lack of medicine recipes: One reader mentioned a specific expectation of finding medicine recipes in the book, and they were disappointed that the book did not fulfil this expectation. This suggests a potential gap in meeting specific reader needs or expectations.

Best quotes from The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook

“The bottom line is that we need no added high-carbohydrate foods. Indeed, we could live without any carbohydrates, as we can make all the energy we need from fats and proteins.”

“In the average grocery store, 60 percent of the “food” is junk, and in fast-food restaurants virtually 100 percent is junk.”

“I went to McDonald’s in 1962, took one bite, and as politely as possible in public, I spit it into my napkin and threw it away.”

Final takeaway

The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to enhance their well-being through nutrition. With its in-depth exploration of over 300 superfoods and their health benefits, this book caters to health-conscious individuals looking to make informed dietary choices. Whether you’re interested in improving digestion, boosting your immune system, or addressing specific health issues, this sourcebook provides practical insights and nutritional breakdowns to guide your food selections. It’s an ideal companion for those on a journey to achieve optimal health and vitality through the power of natural foods.

Where to buy

You can purchase The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook on Amazon, where it’s available in paperback and Kindle formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

The book's author is C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, a renowned physician and expert in holistic health and alternative medicine.

The book covers a wide range of superfoods, including acai berries, chia seeds, turmeric, kale, and many others. Each superfood is discussed in detail, highlighting its unique nutritional properties.

Holistic nutrition takes a comprehensive approach to health, considering the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. It emphasises whole, natural foods and often seeks to address the root causes of health issues rather than merely treating symptoms. Traditional medicine, on the other hand, typically relies on pharmaceutical drugs and surgical interventions to manage health conditions.

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