Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory; Neal Barnard, M.D.

Title: Power Foods for the Brain
Author: Neal Barnard, M.D.
Publication Year:  2013

Publisher: Hachette
Edition: eGalley
Source: NetGalley

Date Completed: April - 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 
Recommended: yes

Having begun 2013 with a goal of eating healthier, Power Foods for the Brain, by Neal Barnard, M.D., seemed like a book worth taking a look at.   Dr. Barnard suggests that eating a plant-based diet, increasing time spent exercising and getting more sleep might protect you from developing memory problems later in life. The book focuses on 4 food groups we should eat more of: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and he also recommends that you keep oil intake low.  He believes it is these food groups that contain large amounts of nutrients and antioxidants that may actually help reduce brain shrinkage by eliminating free radicals from our system, which destroys brain cells. 
Dr Barnard does remind us that there are some genetic factors that play into an individuals likelihood for developing dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease, and mentions the fact that a rare gene has been linked to early-onset Alzheimer's as well. He even uses observations of his own family members who were raised on a cattle farm and ate a regular diet of meat, potatoes and corn. He reports that old age and dementia went pretty much hand and hand for his relatives. He does acknowledge the fact that even vegans can develop Alzheimer's, but based on numerous studies of looking at what people ate and what other healthy changes they made over the years, he concludes that improved brain functioning can result and  that it is even possible to promote the growth of new neurons.
I felt there is something for most everyone to be gained by reading this book.  I especially liked that there were some 75 power-food recipes developed by (2) chefs  - Christine Waltermyer and Jason Wyrick. The recipes actually look quite good. There are also mental stimulation exercises and physical exercise suggestions, as well as, tips on choosing aluminum-free foods and medicines. 


  1. I began the year with the goal of eating healthier, also. Hmmmm, not so much, so far - although I have been exercising regularly. Maybe a book like this is what I need to get myself going on the healthy eating goal. Thanks!

  2. There is more and more evidence that some types of dementia are linked to diet so I'm always trying to learn more about brain health. Ideally I would eliminate red meat but I'm not there yet... I need a cheeseburger every once in a while!

    I've been reading about the 'Fast Diet' as another way to enhance memory and brain health. It requires restricting calorie consumption to 600 for two days each week and eating normally the other five days.

  3. Sounds like it's well worth taking a closer look at this book - thanks for telling me about it!

  4. I have changed the way I eat recently, and have tried to have more plant based foods in my diet, but my step-sister, who is a nutritionist told me that veggie burgers and all those processed veggie foods actually have tons of fat in them, so I am back to raw veggies. I do a lot with them, sometimes even on the grill. I have been bad about it over the past month or so, but I aim to get on track again. This sounds like it would be a really helpful book to me!

  5. Sounds like a great book to read and to write some notes. I'm so very scared of Alzheimer's and the thought that I can help keep it at bay with good nutrition makes me sit up and take notice!!!

  6. I need to read books like this a few times a year to keep myself in check! I'll have to look for this one.


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