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Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating…
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Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power

by Lisa Mosconi PhD

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is well written and includes a "test" to see how healthy my brain is with regard to my current eating habits. It was really eye opening because I thought I was doing fairly well. It gives tips to change and incorporate certain habits so that I can have the perfect diet.
I especially enjoyed the recipes at the end of the book. I tried some of them and they are actually pretty good. ( )
  berthashaver | Oct 27, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have read a number of nutrition books, including books focusing on brain health. I really enjoyed Lisa Mosconi's comprehensive but accessable style. The density of information in each chapter was almost daunting, but her conversational style of writing, referencing her personal experience with a light touch, made the information easy to understand and be inspired by. I definately recommend having a highlighter and page markers at hand. This is a book that should be thoroughly marked up and annotated with personal notes. I think it would also be a good idea to have a pack of sticky notes at the ready so that you can put relevant reminders and lists on your refrigerator and cabinets if you want to remember to make better choices than your current habits allow.

I think this is a timely book, with up to the minute information on the science as it stands right now. It can be read easily from cover to cover, absorbing as much information and inspiration as possible on the first reading, but realistically, most people will only incorporate a fraction of the recommendations into their daily lives. However, with good information at hand we can all move in the right direction, especially when simple swaps in our diet can be so delicious and healthful. ( )
  mudroom | Aug 22, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this highly readable book by Lisa Mosconi. I always appreciate learning more about neuroscience. However, I do agree with other reviewers who suggested that American society currently has systemic issues regarding food access and affordability that make healthy eating of any kind difficult for the majority of Americans.

For balance, I would also recommend reading The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating, by Anthony Warner, and Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, by Barbara Ehrenreich. ( )
  LTietz | Jul 22, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Who DOESN’T want to improve their chances of avoiding Alzheimer’s disease? The author lays out the case that eating the right foods can do just that. And in many cases, eating and other lifestyle choices can trump DNA.

The author writes in a very down-to-earth style, without getting overly scientific. However, the book (IMHO) should be read like a textbook, carefully with underlining and notes to one’s self. There are lots of little nuggets hidden away in the prose. At the end, I longed for Brain Food to be a handbook (at least partially), written PowerPoint style with the main bullet points emphasized, and with charts and graphs and an optional narrative. That way, Brain Food could be used easily as a reference book.

I found the test that helps place readers on the continuum of unhealthy to brain-healthy diets helpful. Although my diet is fairly well advanced, some recipes contained ingredients I’ve not heard of and/or never seen in my local grocery store. Psyllium, chia seed, brewer’s yeast, tamari sauce and spelt come to mind. I got the sinking feeling that following the author’s advice could turn into a major hobby or part-time job.

I believe the author knows people are not going to be as disciplined as she is in her diet, but that moving away from the “bad” stuff and toward the good stuff is possible and attainable for just about anyone. She makes the case well enough that many readers will incorporate at least some of the ideas contained in Brain Food into their own diets. I will.

Review based on publisher-provided galley proof. ( )
  NewsieQ | Feb 6, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Good scientific info on how to feed the brain, I enjoyed learning. I also liked the addition of some recipes to use as examples of how to eat for the best brain health. Dr. Mosconi's credentials can't be beat, but, as with so many books/magazines, the "should do" and the "able to do" are going to be on opposite ends of our means.

It makes sense to me to drink lots of fluids, to eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. However, my job doesn't allow me to use the restroom at will so drinking a full glass of water before breakfast and a cup of tea with breakfast then smoothie as a morning snack plus a glass of water before lunch and another cup of tea with lunch isn't going to fly. Besides that, we don't get more than a 15-minute lunchbreak and certainly no breaks for multiple snacks or tea. A 10-12 hour workday on the factory floor isn't amenable to "Ayurvedic Mung Bean Soup" or "Grilled Salmon in Ginger Garlic Marinade" especially without a refrigerator or microwave. Red wine with dinner or herbal tea before bedtime will keep me awake with heartburn all night.

Organic, grass-fed, and gourmet foods - much of what makes up the recipes - are extraordinarily expensive where I live and while I agree they are better for us, their cost (and expense incurred just obtaining them) is mostly prohibitive. Lastly, the advice to "consider taking naps during the day" is sensible and logical, unless your employer is very much against it or you are rushing from home to work to pick up your kid from the sitter to home to throw something in the microwave so you can get to bed on time and hopefully get 5 or 6 hours sleep before the next 10-12 hour shift. Really, this is not a plan for the masses but for the elite who have the time and money for it. And that's a shame, because everyone deserves to have good brain health and good food and time for naps.

Lifestyle modification, diet, nutrition, and health is going to require the entire village - American society - to change. I, and the masses like me, can maybe manage to follow the guidelines of the diet presented here, if lucky, on weekends (if not working overtime). Someday, someone is going to write a book for us. Until then, I just try to sneak in one more apple slice. ( )
  seongeona | Feb 3, 2018 |
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"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 range of specialties including brain science, the microbiome, and nutritional genomics, notes that the dietary needs of the brain are substantially different from those of the other organs, yet few of us have any idea what they might be. Her innovative approach to cognitive health incorporates concepts that most doctors have yet to learn. Busting through advice based on pseudoscience, Dr. Mosconi provides recommendations for a complete food plan, while calling out noteworthy surprises, including why that paleo diet you are following may not be ideal, why avoiding gluten may be a terrible mistake, and how simply getting enough water can dramatically improve alertness. Including comprehensive lists of what to eat and what to avoid, a detailed quiz that will tell you where you are on the brain health spectrum, and 24 mouth-watering brain-boosting recipes that grow out of Dr. Mosconi's own childhood in Italy, Brain Food gives us the ultimate plan for a healthy brain. Brain Food will appeal to anyone looking to improve memory, prevent cognitive decline, eliminate brain fog, lift depression, or just sharpen their edge"--… (more)

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