Washington Post - Books on health and wellness address exercise and growing your own food


The dust jacket may suggest a straightforward health guide, but break the binding on this book by Joe Schwarcz, a McGill University professor and Discovery Channel Canada regular, and you’ll find a livelier take on wellness.

Using a Q&A format, Schwarcz tries to clear up confusion on eating well, exercising, and, uh . . . whether amphetamines are as bad for elephants as they are for humans. (Yes.) He tackles everyday curiosities — for example, why store-bought ice cream uses “modified milk ingredients.” (It’s a cheaper, concentrated form of milk with a longer shelf life, he says, but harmless health-wise.)

Sometimes, his answers get a little bit saucy. Does an apple a day really help prevent cancer? “Maybe,” says Schwarcz. “Almost certainly if you’re a laboratory rat and have apple extract pumped into your stomach every day throughout your life after being exposed to a carcinogen.” Hey, sorry we asked...