Our top 5 books on functional medicine for health innovators

Our top 5 books on functional medicine for health innovators cover
  • The relevance of behavioral health, healthy lifestyle and functional medicine to worldwide health systems is striking.

A future health report by Deloitte estimates health spending in the USA by 2040 will be nearly two-thirds on well-being and prevention. According to Deloitte, this will mean:

So, if you’re in the health ecosystem, you might want to take a deep dive into the world of functional medicine and lifestyle medicine to discover opportunities for your work.

That’s why we share our top 5 books on functional medicine with you.

And want to learn more on the lifestyle medicine ecosystem in Europe? Join our community for updates and insights. 👉

1) The Mind-gut connection

How the hidden conversation within our bodies impacts our mood, our choices and our overall health (2016). By Emeran Mayer.


This ‘modern classic’ work from 2016 explains the ‘mind-body connection’ especially found in the gut microbiome:

  • How does the interaction between food, emotions and your gut microbiome work?
  • How does it impact a healthy life?
  • And how can these insights help in tackling inflammatory bowel disorders and neurological diseases like Parkinson and dementia?
The mind-body connection

This book helps us discover many reasons for disbalance & disease. It stresses the importance of a healthy diet and mentions the interaction between genetics, stress, lifestyle and physical health.

2) Handboek leefstijlgeneeskunde voor de zorgprofessional by De Vries en De Weijer (2022) and 3) Word je eigen dokter by Jutta Borms (2022)

Two recent books by European health professionals on the practice of lifestyle medicine.

The handbook lifestyle medicine for health professionals’ offers scientific insights and very practical action plans for health professionals to work with in their practice.

Since 2019, lifestyle medicine interventions are financed in the Netherlands. So the authors address clinics, health professionals and payers on how to implement lifestyle interventions in their practice. They discuss lifestyle interventions for cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, psychiatric problems, … .

In Belgium, GP Jutta Borms is well known for her columns on holistic health practice, where she answers questions from patients, both from a traditional medicine point of view and a holistic treatment.

Dr. Borms has been in the field for years and illustrates the results of integrating new forms of medicine after implementing it in her own practice. Her books reveal both to patients and physicians how holistic treatment can help for example inflammation, low back pain, stress, sleeping problems, ect…

4) Food Fix. How to save our health, our economy, our communities & our planet-one bite at a time (2020). By Mark Hyman


Dr. Mark Hyman is a worldwide known & respected functional medicine practitioner. As head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine & board member of The Institute for Functional Medicine, he dedicates his life to end chronic disease. He calls ‘food fix’ his most important book, a way to ‘tikkun olam’ which means ‘repare the world’.

Food fix is a strong manifesto to change our food system, food industry, economic behavior and environment to tackle chronic disease and inequality in the world.

Hyman explains how the current system undermines social, mental and economic capital. This book brings economy to the discussion and is a comprehensive work for health innovators in all segments of the ecosystem.

The author offers insights and opportunities for new services, products and economic development. And the book calls politicians to act.

You might also want to check out this interview with Mark Hyman.

5) Creating a lifestyle medicine center. From concept to clinical practice (2020) Ed. by J Mechanick and R. Kushner


This book connects theory to practice and is a perfect start for implementing lifestyle medicine in hospitals, health centers or private practices. Starting from the concept and evidence on the benefits of lifestyle medicine, it moves to the economy of a lifestyle medicine center.

It deals, among other things, with infrastructure for wellbeing, development of patient education materials and the role of a nutritionist in a center. It also discusses several usecases of lifestyle medicine centers in the USA.

Don’t have time to read all these books because you are busy innovating? Don’t worry…

BONUS: some interesting podcasts:

Podcasts are a great way to get inspired and learn new things. You can listen to them while walking, driving in your car or working at home. There are a bunch of podcasts on lifestyle and wellbeing. But we were looking for the ones that offer some insights on the financing and implementation of lifestyle as medicine and health prevention.

And we selected these interesting ones for you:

Listen to the stories and journeys of healthcare practitioners and visionaries who are changing the way medicine is practiced. Short episodes, no advertisements & inspiring guests who share their experiences on health technologies, practices & protocols make this podcast a very accessible & interesting one.

No-nonsense discussions about lifestyle medicine and its implementation into the health system. 40 minutes each. For example, I liked episode 7 on ‘een gezondheidszorg waarin gezondheid centraal staat’.

Host Roel Hermans invites experts, researchers and physicians to talk about the science behind lifestyle medicine. For instance on how to make healthy choices in an unhealthy environment. With lots of Dutch examples and best practices.

How we help your team with preventive health business development

  • We’ve made a content library with all our articles on health prevention. So you can harness the power of preventive health. Check it out here.
  • Our consultancy helps you to understand the preventive health market with data and insights. We help you to define your strategy in preventive health. And to start or accelerate your go to market. 


Thanks to Gianna V., co-author of this blog.


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