Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power

Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power

How to eat for maximum brain power and health from an expert in both neuroscience and nutrition. Like our bodies, our brains have very specific food requirements. And in this eye-opening book from an author who is both a neuroscientist and a certified integrative nutritionist, we learn what should be on our menu.Dr. Lisa Mosconi, whose research spans an extraordinary rang...

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Title:Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power
Author:Lisa Mosconi
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Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power Reviews

  • Kelly Knapp

    I have read books and articles claiming that playing certain games will help keep your brain strong and ward off dementias and Alzheimer's. This seemed plausible, but did not explain why these illnesses are in an upswing...some have claimed our longer lives as the culprit, however, after reading Mosconi's book, I suspect that our poor diets have much to do with the problems.

    The book is very readable, and designed for the general reader, not just for other business cohorts.

  • Sharon

    I lost 2-3 pounds reading this book! That sounds funny, but it's true. This is the best and most profound book I've read on such a subject. When it's published, several in my immediate family will receive a copy from me. And I want to give my ARC copy to another, so I'll buy one for myself. That's how much I think of the book. It's going to change my life. Today I went grocery shopping, list in hand, to a health food store I already frequent. My husband seemed spellbound and dubious.

    The book is

    I lost 2-3 pounds reading this book! That sounds funny, but it's true. This is the best and most profound book I've read on such a subject. When it's published, several in my immediate family will receive a copy from me. And I want to give my ARC copy to another, so I'll buy one for myself. That's how much I think of the book. It's going to change my life. Today I went grocery shopping, list in hand, to a health food store I already frequent. My husband seemed spellbound and dubious.

    The book is about eating in a way that creates a healthy environment for your brain and heart, and your whole body, of course. Although I've read similar books, none has motivated me like this one. I can't praise it enough. Is it for everyone? Yes. But no. The truth is, some people may read it and change nothing; you know them. They already know everything and aren't going to change. If you are interested in getting healthier in a doable way, this book might help you.

    I lost those couple pounds doing only a few of the suggestions. It will take time to incorporate the things I don't already do. I was partway there already. And it's easy to see that even if you don't follow the suggestions to the letter, your entire body will benefit from changes you make at the start. Small changes work and are better than doing nothing. Much of this is easy, unless you are starting from no healthy eating, and then, it's doubly important that you do something to get healthier. There are three levels near the end, places where you might be starting from with suggestions and steps to help you get started. You find that level by taking a test, easy questions about what you do now. The test can be taken again and again, as you progress.

    So gentle readers, if you care about your health and especially your brain and how to avoid dementia, Alzheimer's and more, this book might be the one that changes your life for the better. The book is pure science. It's well researched and written by an author who lives what she knows. It's written in an easy-to-read way with tables and all kinds of helpful information. Readers will learn much about the brain and workings of the body as pertains to nutrition and more. There are recipes and apparently more advice and recipes online. In my house, the book will be often referenced until I have it all memorized enough that it comes naturally.

    I have ingredients now to make a couple of the recipes and they sound good and easy. There are also recipes for your sweet tooth, and some of the changes are super easy and beneficial to not only your brain but other organs. If everyone ate this way, doctors might not have as much to do!

    This book came to me from LibraryThing as an ARC copy for review.

  • Karolyn Sherwood

    If every adult read BRAIN FOOD, by Lisa Mosconi, it might change the course of history. A non-fiction book like this, one that makes bold claims about health matters, is entirely dependent on the author's credentials. Lisa Mosconi has the right credentials: She has a duel PhD in neuroscience and Nuclear Medicine, and is a board-certified integrative nutritionist and holistic health-care practitioner; she is the associate director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical Coll

    If every adult read BRAIN FOOD, by Lisa Mosconi, it might change the course of history. A non-fiction book like this, one that makes bold claims about health matters, is entirely dependent on the author's credentials. Lisa Mosconi has the right credentials: She has a duel PhD in neuroscience and Nuclear Medicine, and is a board-certified integrative nutritionist and holistic health-care practitioner; she is the associate director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital; she was an associate professor of neuroscience in neurology; she was the director of the Nutrition and Brain Fitness Lab at NYU School of Medicine, et al. If this isn't enough for you, read more about her at lisamosconi.com.

    Mosconi states on page 11: "What most people don't know is that less than 1 percent of the population develops Alzheimer's because of a rare genetic mutation in their DNA ... for the remaining 99 percent of us, the real risk is not determined by our genes." She claims Alzheimer's

    is due primarily to our diet, and I believe her! I will take her advice and do what she says. The following 300 pages of the book give support for her thesis, as well as guidelines for fat, protein and carbohydrate intakes; a questionnaire to help everyone who eats evaluate their diet; recipes and lifestyle choices;and much more. This is a book that could either be shelved on a wise person's book case, or in the kitchen for easy access to the best recipes.

    Additionally, Mosconi gives us advice backed by science without sounding preachy. The facts speak for themselves. She offers encyclopedic knowledge and holistic direction for every aspect of diet and behaviors on how to avoid one of the most horrific diseases known to man. I know this science will continue to evolve, so I plan to stay on top of it because my mother has Alzheimer's. With the help of Lisa Mosconi and BRAIN FOOD, I am determined to do everything I can to avoid it.

    FIVE brilliant STARS

  • Sara Aouichi

    this was one hell of an intresting reading ^^

    im so going to try few things from here and put an update about it later on

  • Kathleen

    Mosconi is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and the Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research interests lie in using PET and MRI imaging in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Clearly, Mosconi knows what she is talking about!

    All of us know someone who is (or has) suffered from dementia—particularly Alzheimer’s. It is a horrific disease that we hope and pray doesn’t visit us in our later years. Mosconi makes a s

    Mosconi is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and the Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research interests lie in using PET and MRI imaging in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Clearly, Mosconi knows what she is talking about!

    All of us know someone who is (or has) suffered from dementia—particularly Alzheimer’s. It is a horrific disease that we hope and pray doesn’t visit us in our later years. Mosconi makes a strong case that we can avoid getting Alzheimer’s if we pay attention to what are brains need now.

    o Less than 1% of the population develops Alzheimer’s because of a rare mutation in their DNA.

    o Most forms of cognitive decline associated with brain aging is linked to diet and exercise.

    o Nearly a third of Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented.

    o The brain is the one part of the body most easily damaged by a poor diet.

    o Our brains require a lot of energy—consuming 20% of our energy intake.

    o Dehydration accelerates brain shrinkage that occurs with aging and dementia—drinking 8-10 cups of water a day can boost the brain’s performance by almost 30%.

    o Omega 6s are pro-inflammatory; Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory. The balance of these two fats should be 2:1 for optimal neuron communication. Americans consume 20-30:1 causing excess inflammation that contribute to atherosclerosis, arthritis, vascular disease, autoimmune processes, tumor proliferation, and—you guessed it—Alzheimer’s.

    o So—give up animal fatty foods, and start eating flaxseed, walnuts, chia, wheat germ and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, cod).

    o Don’t partake of sugar or sugar substitutes, but focus on low glycemic/high fiber foods instead.

    o Mosconi is also concerned about the amount of copper in our diets. She refers to new research that suggests that the copper we ingest in our modern diet is enough to increase the chances of Alzheimer’s.

    Not surprisingly, Mosconi also lists the ‘usual suspects’ in maintaining healthy brains—exercise, undergoing tasks requiring an active brain (i.e., reading, playing music) and sleep among them.

    She prefers organically raised food-stuffs.

    Clearly, we should all pay more attention to keeping our brains healthy. Highly Recommend.

  • Johanna

    A worthwhile book based on the latest and most trustworthy findings on brain health and Alzheimer's research. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC, combines her knowledge and training in Neuroscience / Neurology and integrative nutrition and holistic health, to lead readers though the science of brain health, explaining how to feed your brain the very best foods to keep your mind sharp and significantly lower your risk for developing diseases such as Alzheimer's. This book is full of useful information, delv

    A worthwhile book based on the latest and most trustworthy findings on brain health and Alzheimer's research. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC, combines her knowledge and training in Neuroscience / Neurology and integrative nutrition and holistic health, to lead readers though the science of brain health, explaining how to feed your brain the very best foods to keep your mind sharp and significantly lower your risk for developing diseases such as Alzheimer's. This book is full of useful information, delving into the more recent field of epigenetics to reveal the power of nutrition and environmental factors over our family genetic history, and proving that our genetic expression (particularly when it comes to susceptibility to certain diseases) is not necessarily "set in stone" but may be altered by lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis. In the book, you will learn which foods are the best foods for protecting and nourishing your brain, which you should avoid at all costs, as well as the vital role of other factors like water consumption, exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. The book includes a wonderfully in-depth quiz to help readers learn where they currently stand on the road to brain health, pointing out what they've done right so far, and what else can be done to improve their diet and lifestyle even more. The author has also included some of the best recipes to incorporate brain-healthy foods into the diet.

    As someone who is immensely interested in natural health sciences including nutrition and nutrigenomics / epigenetics, I was thrilled that I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program. I was hopeful that the book would be more than just a basic gloss-over of brain health and nutrition facts- and I was not disappointed! There is a LOT of really solid information in this book, based on the latest in reliable scientific research (12 pages of sources in the back).

    However, I chose to give the book only four stars for a few different reasons. For starters, the book is pretty heavy on the theory of evolution, making it (alongside nutritional research) the premise of the recommended dietary guidelines (to the point of some pretty outlandish, if not humorous, conjecture at certain points). Secondarily, I noted a few pieces of information that I believe to be inaccurate. For example, it's stated very early on in the book that the brain lacks the capacity to grow new neurons- however, to my knowledge, this was disproved in 1998 by Dr Fred H. Gage (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California) and Peter Eriksson (Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden)

    (source

    The latter part of that statement, I think, could play a vital role in a book such as this, so I was very disappointed to learn otherwise.

    Additionally, while I give the author strong marks for acknowledging that heavy metals contribute to diseases and deterioration of the brain, the book fails to make mention of the risks of vaccines in regards to brain health- (in fact, the only mention of vaccines in the book attributes the decline of disease in the modern world to their use, which was actually accomplished pre-vaccines thanks to improved sanitation and nutrition). I know this is not a book on vaccines (and I understand if the author doesn't wish to delve into this controversial topic), however I wish it would have touched on the subject because of the direct correlation that is shown between the toxins in vaccines and cognitive decline. For example, vaccines contain, in addition to numerous other chemicals deemed harmful to the brain, Aluminum and Mercury, which are both neurotoxic, often in conjunction with a chemical substance known as Polysorbate 80- the main function of which is to open the blood-brain barrier to allow other substances through (so much so that it is used in chemo treatments of individuals with brain cancers). This allows the heavy metals access into the brain, where they wreak havoc and cause inflammation and damage. Perhaps an oversight, but certainly important if we're discussing the prevention of brain disease!

    Last but not least is the unfortunate, and rather horrifying, inclusion of a quote by "philosopher" Friedrich Nietzsche - the man who's nihilistic ideology inspired Adolph Hitler's "Final Solution", and spawned the eugenics movement. Whether or not the quote was itself relevant to the discussion, I think the book would be much improved by it's removal.

    With that said, the book as a whole, with it's fascinating science and insight in regards to nourishing and protecting the brain through diet, is very useful, and I do recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Blaine Morrow

    Mosconi summarizes brain research that links diet with cognitive functionality, and provides clear suggestions for improving what you eat to stave off mental disease (particularly dementia and Alzheimer's).

  • Kristin Kowalk

    Good overall health information in one book. Some of the research is new, but most isn’t. Helpful information related to Alzheimer’s prevention.

  • Courtney

    I wanted to like this book more.

    Lisa Mosconi has excellent credentials-trained in Neuroscience and Nutrition-that give her the research-backed clout to speak to the kind of food that would make our brain work better. However, while I can get behind her basic recommendations to eat more fish and vegetables because they contain goodies the brain needs to operate its best, there were other claims that I did not see any science behind. For example, her #1 recommendation is that all produce must be

    I wanted to like this book more.

    Lisa Mosconi has excellent credentials-trained in Neuroscience and Nutrition-that give her the research-backed clout to speak to the kind of food that would make our brain work better. However, while I can get behind her basic recommendations to eat more fish and vegetables because they contain goodies the brain needs to operate its best, there were other claims that I did not see any science behind. For example, her #1 recommendation is that all produce must be organic and non-GMO to the point that even frozen organic produce is better than fresh non-organic. While this is certainly a hotly contested topic, she doesn't provide any of her scientific reasoning behind this claim. Mosconi qualifies throughout that any produce is better than none at all, but her continued insistence on the ease and affordability of organic and non-GMO items is wearing by the end of the book. Not only does she not support these claims with evidence, she is alienating a large portion of the population that can see the stark difference in associated cost. At the end of the book I just found myself annoyed, skeptical, and less willing to follow any recommendations as a result.

    If you follow the recommendations given, I have no doubt you will be healthier (if from nothing other than cutting our dairy and sugar). But, as with all popular science books, all claims should be evaluated on your own terms.

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