This is a thoroughly researched and scientific look at diet, with a view to delaying dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There have been longitudinal studies done which confirm the role of nutrition in maintaining brain health. The book is well set out. It begins with an overview of the brain and what it needs to function at its best. That is followed by a description of Cognition, and Dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. The information given is so well set out that this is easy to read and follow. There is also information given on how mental fitness is studied and measured.
So now we have the background information we need, the next step moves on to the “Mind Diet.” This is made up of 15 components, with harmful food groups such as meat, butter, cheese and fried foods avoided. This concept has used an evidence- based approach to selecting antioxidant rich, and anti- inflammatory foods. As well as the Mind diet, we have the Dash diet, which is plant based and used to lower blood pressure, while limiting fats, sweets and salt. The study group was older adults, (mostly white) and it seemed that those who followed the diet for a longer time were more protected from Alzheimer’s.
The next chapter begins to look at brain healthy food. Leafy greens are shown to be beneficial in retaining cognitive abilities for longer. Evidence is given for this statement. The leafy greens are now individually identified for their benefits. For example, “Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins A, C, and K, fibre, calcium, manganese, iron and B vitamins.” Cooking methods are also suggested. Brain harming foods such as saturated fats and red meat are to be avoided, and some tips for those who can’t give up meat follow.
Two charts show what to eat, firstly for 6 days a week, and then 5 days a week down to once a week (fish). The everyday list shows we may have 3 servings of whole grains, 1 serving of vegetables, 1 glass of wine, and olive oil. There follows a chart for scoring your food intake and adding up weekly totals. There are also blank worksheets provided so you may create your own meal plan.
The final part of the book, after giving tips to stock your pantry, deals with recipes. One of the difficulties I found was some of the ingredients. Sriracha, Swiss chard, Arugula, and Collard greens are some unfamiliar terms. However, there are plenty of recipes in the book to excite an experimental cook, and also one who may wish to dabble in healthy diets and food.
The arguments and scientific reasoning behind these ideas are hard to dispute. It makes much sense to protect the brain from harm for as long as we can.
|Author||Maggie Moon MS RDN|
|Distributor||New South Books|