Cookbooks may be slowly slipping from the horizon due to the overwhelming presence of the internet in providing recipes, videos, and articles about food and how to eat it. Social media has taken on a powerful role as mediator and transmitter of these, however, we can never forget the importance books can serve in fulfilling our lives (and our appetites). 

Authors and foodies, ranging from Amber Rose, to Michael Pollan, to Martha Stewart, have all gone beyond the simple cookbook of delicious staple recipes to teach readers how to be a better eater, both for our own health and the overall benefit of society.

The expert authors of these books will teach you about the positives of eating "right" and the negatives of eating "wrong," as well as center us in a healthy lifestyle of appreciating food and all it can do to nourish our bodies and minds.

1. Eat Better, Live Better, Feel Better by Julie Cove

Author Julie Cove, Eat Better, Live Better, Feel Better: Alkalize Your Life One Delicious Recipe at a Timebreaks down what ingredients in certain foods lead to internal body issues like inflammation, headaches, muscle pains, and even chronic illness. She explains the science behind an alkaline-based diet that brings about a plethora of healthy benefits.

After an alkalizing detox, she provides 150 delicious recipes to help you achieve this lifestyle and live a healthier life. She also runs a blog called Alkaline Sisters, where she features a lot of the same information.

2. Eat Complete by Dr. Drew Ramsey

We all know eating the right foods can improve our health, but did you know that what we eat affects our brain health, too? Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, author of Fifty Shades of Kale, provides 100 easy and healthy recipes to boost brain health and ultimately causes improvement in weight loss, energy levels, and overall mood.

Dr. Ramsey lists the 21 crucial ingredients that benefit the brain and are lacking from the average person's diet. The book's colorful photography will help you discover what you're missing from your diet and find new recipes to help you transform your life.

3. Clean Slate by Martha Stewart Living

What even is clean eating? This book breaks it down for you and reveals all the benefits to enjoying food in its whole, unprocessed form and sticking to a plant-based diet. The editors of Martha Stewart Living provide recipes for smoothies, snacks, and even filling meals with all the nutritional information to nourish your body and mind.

4. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Author Michael Pollan poses the dilemma our world faces as we have taken culturally and seasonally limited foods and brought them to be readily available at all times and most places around the globe. He explores in depth the large-scale production and processing of food and the inhumane conditions in which livestock are forced to live.

He points out that "a one-pound box of California-produced organic lettuce - that contains 80 food calories - requires 4,600 calories of fossil fuel to process and ship to the East Coast." He believes in the power of awareness of the source of our food so that we "eat by the grace of nature, not industry." 

5. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

This New York Times Bestseller written by Eric Schlosser explores the industry that is American fast food and how it has taken over our nation's culinary identity. He points out all the inadequacies and absurdities the industry has caused, such as a wider gap between rich and poor as well as our nationwide obesity epidemic. This book is sure to cause you to question your ability to ever eat fast food again.

6. Inspiralize Everything by Ali Maffuci

Many steer away from clean eating because of how boring and bland it can be. This book, by NYT Bestselling Author Ali Maffucci, makes eating your veggies exponentially more fun by turning them into fabulous dishes of noodles and ribbons full of color and flavor. These recipes fit into paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and raw diets and allow you to use whatever veggies you have on hand.

This cookbook explores a variety of fruits and veggies and how to best take advantage of their nutritional value and preparation techniques, while also putting a fun and exciting spin on cooking.

7. Love, Bake, Nourish by Amber Rose

Some of us try so hard to eat a balanced and healthy diet, but just can't stray away from indulgences from time to time. Food stylist Amber Rose offers in her way to bake various sweet confections using healthy and nourishing ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and ancient flours.

While she does use sugar as an ingredient occasionally, it's only used to enhance the other flavors and nutrients brought to life in her recipes. Bake yourself indulgences without guilt, and help pass on the lesson that delicious food does not need to come with all the added sugars or fats.

8. The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

With an abundance of restaurant options, many of us in the modern era forget the simple beauty of cooking at home to provide ourselves with nutrition, flavor, and extra savings. Food forerunner Alice Waters stays true to her passion for fresh produce, sustainable meat sources, and healthy grains by providing recipes for home cooks to maintain a healthy but deliciously fulfilling lifestyle.

9. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

The #1 New York Times Bestseller, Salt Sugar Fat exposes the dangers the processed food industry poses on Americans and how this industry and our society evolved together to reach this point. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss, the book is grounded in solid and shocking research and focuses on some of the nation's largest corporations such as Coca-Cola, Oreos, and more.

10. Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart

Nutrition is quickly becoming the trendiest way to be beautiful, as people discover the outward benefits of delicious food that can lead to a more beautiful lifestyle. Jolene Hart, a beauty editor turned health coach, exposes the science behind keywords such as Omega-3s, antioxidants, and biotins by explaining their roles in exemplifying our beauty.

Her descriptions, along with tasty recipes with superfoods, help teach readers how to transform their diets towards a happier and more beautiful lifestyle, making food an even more beautiful life necessity.

11. It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig's Whole30 diet is taking the nation by storm, offering a 30-day balanced and sustainable nutrition plan for those seeking a healthier diet and lifestyle change. This program has proven to help people lose weight, live happier lives, form healthier relationships with food, and eliminate a vast number of health problems.

This book delves into why the Whole30 diet impacts your life so strongly, and why certain foods have devastating negative effects. Based on science and real-life experience, the Hartwigs help readers to grocery shop, meal plan, and prepare the right foods to lead to a better lifestyle.

12. The Food Lover's Cleanse by Sara Dickerman

Bon Appetit's Sarah Dickerman offers  year-long meal-planning and recipe guide focused on whole foods and home cooking that strays away from processed ingredients, dairy, saturated fats, coffee, or alcohol. With a heavy emphasis on mindful eating, this program helps readers instill a lifelong eating practice for wellbeing, keeping them healthy and satisfied every day of the year.

pasture, sweet, juice, apple
Santina Renzi

As college students, it's often hard to encourage ourselves to pick up a book we aren't required to read. We are enslaved to boring and useless readings for classes that we won't ever remember after we are tested on it. Our health and happiness, however, are far more important and everlasting than any college course we will take.

It is crucial to invest time in creating the happiest and healthiest versions of ourselves, and it all starts with eating right and having a centered and balanced lifestyle around the food we eat. These books won't bore you the way many will; they will enlighten your appetite and teach you how you can be living a healthier and stronger life, and help you to handle everything that comes your way.