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From Açaí Berries to Zucchini: New Dictionary Guide Takes the Mystery Out of Our Foods

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis

a-z guideWhat do people really know about the foods that they consume?The A–Z Guide to Food as Medicine aims to take the mystery out of some 250 different foods and phytochemicals in an easy to read, dictionary-style reference intended for use by healthcare professionals as they answer questions and advise their patients.

Ara DerMarderosian, PhD, emeritus professor of pharmacognosy and medicinal chemistry at University of the Sciences, and Diane Woznicki Kraft, MS, RDN, LDN, a clinical nutritionist and a biology instructor at Alvernia University, collaborated to provide health professionals quick access to information about the bioactive components of foods and their mechanisms of action in the body. The listings summarize facts into concise entries that include definition, use as a food, scientific findings about physiological and health effects, dose when known, and safety information

“We all recognize that much of our current health problems stem from bad diets and fast foods of dubious qualities,” said Dr. DerMarderosian. “We basically hope to accomplish a better understanding of foods as medicine by using a simple dictionary access approach on some 250 foods and phytochemicals coupled with all the evidence based references. We believe all physicians, pharmacists, dieticians, and other health professionals will benefit.”

The A-Z Guide to Food as Medicine, published by CRC Press (, a member of Taylor & Francis Group, merges established data about foods, food groups, nutrients, and phytochemicals, with lesser known new research, and contains extensive coverage of nutrition. The guide makes sure to include all nutrients for which there is an RDA, highlights “good” and “excellent” sources of nutrients, addresses physiological functions of nutrients and clinically relevant facts about nutrients, such as how consuming them promotes health, corrects deficiency, and/or helps to prevent disease, as well as shows how to assess status of certain nutrients.

“The book is a food and nutrient ready-reference, handy to look up ‘good sources’ of nutrients and summaries of the scientific findings about food components, which I felt was missing from many reference works and saw a need for it,” said Kraft.

So, can an apple a day keep the doctor away? The A-Z Guide to Food as Medicine says yes … pointing to multiple scientific studies that extol an apple’s benefits.

To learn more about The A–Z Guide to Food as Medicine, please visit:

About the Authors
Diane Woznicki Kraft, MS, RDN, LDN, is a biology instructor at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania, and a clinical nutritionist. She holds a master of science degree in nutrition from New York University and a bachelor of science degree in nutrition from Penn State University. She has also authored consumer and professional articles on nutrition for The American Council on Science and Health and The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Ara DerMarderosianAra DerMarderosian, PhD, is an emeritus professor of pharmacognosy and medicinal chemistry at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also served as editor and/or co-editor of The Review of Natural Products, a reference book on natural products addressing the botanical, historical, clinical, chemical, pharmacological, and toxicological aspects of natural products. He is the herbal and dietary supplement chapter author for several editions of The Merck Manual, and has spoken on nutrition and pharmacognosy topics to medical professionals for several decades. 

About CRC Press
CRC Press is a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. We offer unique, trusted content by expert authors, spreading knowledge and promoting discovery worldwide. We aim to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business. For more information, visit

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