The Primal Blueprint - covers diet/nutrition, exercise/play/stress management, and other keys to being healthy, in an easy-to-read format. Note - it is loosely based on the Paleo Diet, which many people disagree with.
Primal Blueprint 21-Day Transformation - based on the previous book, but with more specific recommendations, for both diet, exercise, and life in general.
Primal Blueprint Fitness - free ebook when you sign up for MDA's mailing list. Covers general concepts of how to exercise. There's also a couple of free cookbooks, one of which involves coconuts. :)
Real Food - What to Eat, and Why.
Food Rules - short, simple (one rule per page), easy to read. Michael Pollan's other books are also worth reading, but they are less about specifics, and more about the problems with our (US) industrial food industry. Update - I may have to qualify this book recommendation. I just ran across a blog post called Children of the Wheat (and the entire blog is also worth reading), and halfway down the post, he gives a critical analysis of Pollan's book, In Defense of Food, which I presume has similar recommendations to Food Rules. I admit I only skimmed the book, I'd say most of it is fairly reasonable, but some of the rules are questionable. One example is "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." As the blog points out, this allows margerine - which has been around for over a hundred years.
Mark's Daily Apple - covers most (or all) of the issues mentioned in his books, so you don't have to buy them. Although personally I like having a printed book to hold. Plus, the website now has hundreds of pages - having a book, makes it easier to find things, and get an overview of the whole Primal system.
Raw Food SOS. Although the author Denise Minger, is not strictly a vegetarian, her current diet is close, with only some eggs, dairy, fish, and rarely, meat (as opposed to meat cooked rarely :)
Whole Health Source - Ancestral Nutrition - highly recommended, not just for the science analysis, but for the list of links on right sidebar. There's a lot more sites I could link, but they're all in that list. :)
Why Dietary Fat is Good
Guide to Fats
10 Protein Sources (some meat)
Should I Use Supplements?
Why Omega-3's Matter
Fructose versus Glucose
A Case against Cardio Exercise
Nutrition Deficiences in Vegetarians
Children of the Wheat
Why Grains are Unhealthy
Wheat Gluten Symptoms in non-Celiac Patients
Book Review: Dangerous Grains
The China Study, Wheat, and Heart Disease
Gluten and Thyroid Problems
Wheat Belly - both a blog, and a book by the same name.
Wheat Indiscretions - not really about problems with wheat itself, so much as how it's treated (chemicals, processing, etc).
As I mention below, the evidence against wheat consumption is definitely controversial. There's certainly plenty of vegetarian sites that will tell you it's wonderful, as are other grains. Here's one article in favor:
Wheat Grass (juice) and Cancer Patients in India.
You asked for a canonical source of information for overall health. Unfortunately - there is no consensus on issues of diet, exercise, and health in general. You will find a million sources (books, websites, published science papers), all of which make a claim to being the "correct" answer to how to eat/live, covering the range from vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, carnivore, archevore, paleo, locavore, organic - did I miss anyone? :)
Disclaimer - I am not a nutritionist, this is not medical advice, you are responsible for your own life.
Having said that, there are a few areas where there is strong agreement.
- Avoid sugar in all forms (there's at least 50 ways to rename sugar, like dextrose, maltose, and the industry uses them all). Definitely avoid HFCS - High-Fructose Corn Sugar.
- Avoid refined grains (white flour, etc).
- Avoid industrial pollutants (pesticides, hormones/antibiotics in meat, mercury in fish, etc).
- Avoid highly-processed foods in general, things that have been extensively altered or strange things added. Avoid trans-fats, and partially-hydrogenated anything.
Slightly more controversial, but I think the evidence is fairly strong - make your own decisions.
- Avoid all modern grains (wheat in any form, including gluten in many products, corn in any form - it's in lots of things). Avoid most legumes (beans). Avoid most forms of soy (fermented types are safer).
- Limit fruits (see link above about hazards of excessive fructose). Obviously a fruitarian would disagree with this. :) Avoid fruit juices completely.
- Limit polyunsatured fats. There's fairly good evidence that the Omega 3-Omega 6 fatty acid ratio is important (the closer to 1:1, the better). Do eat saturated fats.
- Avoid chronic cardio exercise. MDA recommends doing both slow, low-intensity types of exercise (like walking), with occasional high-intensity bursts (sprints, some weight-lifting).
Try to get some high-quality protein, when possible. If not meat, maybe fish (mercury-free)? Eggs are great, if available (and there's very strong evidence that the fat/cholesterol has zero effect on heart disease). What about insects? Yes, I'm serious. :)
Consider supplements (as per link above), if affordable.
Sleep, Stress, etc. - try for more sleep, and less stress. :) See MDA's books/site for more information, although there's a ton of sites about stress management.
Feedback/Self-study. Think about keeping a food journal/health journal - over time, you may be able to see trends (either good or bad), and adjust your life acordingly.
Evaluate what the local population is eating - are they healthy? Then they must be doing something right, and it might be worth emulating them. If they're not healthy, well, back to the drawing board. As Dave said, the situation is just sub-optimal.
On the bright side, people throughout the history of the world, have found ways to eat and be healthy - it's mainly our industrial world that has messed things up, in the name of "efficiency". You will have to do some work, granted (just reading the sites/books listed is a full-time job), and make decisions based on what's available to you, but finding a healthy path should be possible. Good luck.