Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC, combines her knowledge and training in Neuroscience, 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 the 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 lifestyle factors such as 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 her favorite recipes to help you incorporate more of the best brain-healthy foods into your diet.
As someone who is immensely interested in natural health sciences including nutrition and nutrigenomics / epigenetics, I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this book, hopeful that it would be more than just a basic gloss-over of brain health and nutrition facts. 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 included 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). “Gage and his colleagues discovered that the human brain can give rise to new neurons throughout life. He also found that exercise and cognitive enrichment can increase the brain’s ability to generate more neurons.”(source https://www.salk.edu/scientist/rusty-gage/ ) 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, the heavy metals 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’m thankful to the author for bringing her vast knowledge of the subject together into a succinct resource to help readers on their journey to better brain health. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the subject!
Rating: 4 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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