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Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  890 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Could your breakfast or lunch be harming your memory?

Are you missing out on the foods that could prevent Alzheimer's disease?

Everyone knows good nutrition supports your overall health, but few realize that certain foods-power foods-can protect your brain and optimize its function, and even dramatically reduce your risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Now, New York Times bestsell
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Grand Central Life & Style (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  890 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about how to help your brain. These are the concrete steps that will help improve the health of your brain, and reduce the risk of certain debilitating diseases. Most notably, Alzheimer's disease is the most dreadful. Dr. Neal Barnard goes through all of the ideas that people have advanced for avoiding Alzheimer's disease. He focuses on the lifestyle approaches that might really help. Some commonly held ideas have no scientific evidence, but do have some anecdotal suppor ...more
Informative read on the various changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to help protect your brain from dementia/Alzheimer's.

Some random points that have stuck with me since finishing the book...

Avoid aluminum as much as possible.

The more education you have, the better off you are, but I think it's just because that's correlated with a love of learning, so even if you don't have a lot of education, as long as you keep independently learning, you are probably just as protected.

Exercise (i
Ctina Phillips
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read that really shows how to eat to protect your brain. My grandparents had severe memory problems, so I looked everywhere for reliable advice. But the only books I could find wanted to push supplements or medications, which I didn't want. Dr. Barnard has a completely different approach, based on food, and I'm putting it to work as of now.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting ideas but my primary comment on this book is: FURTHER STUDIES ARE NEEDED. The author sites study after study to support his various ideas, but most studies are one- timers or don't include enough participants to make a scientific case for them.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
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 group ...more
Hmm. Well, some of the research the author matter-of-factly states is in fact rather more dubious or has conflicting evidence. And the nutrition information on the recipes is wildly improbable. Ran several through a nutrition calculator and did not get AT ALL what the book stated. In once instance, a smoothie with just a few grams of protein was instantly credited with 104 grams when turned into a parfait with oats or granola. That one was surely just a typo, I hope. I also did not see much trea ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-cooking
Lots of great info on protecting your brain through a plant based diet, physical exercise, and exercising your brain. Very inspiring - the author suggests giving it a try for 21 days. I am psyching myself up to try - wish me luck.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Great, informative but needs more studies and the recipes need a good check I think.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Some good information for those concerned with memory and brain health as you grow older. There are some great suggestions for genereally making good food choices. I just can't commit to being fully vegan, which is what the final recommendation comes down to.
Dec 09, 2019 added it
Excellent resource for both beginning a vegan diet and for preventing Alzheimer’s.
Saravana Sastha Kumar
A very insightful book on health and food relationship particularly to the functioning of brain. Only rating 3 as half the book is on food menu.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is ok. Published in 2013 so some of the ideas are outdated with current research, but not a bad starting point to figure out some things to avoid or to eat if you want to keep your mind working at peak proficiency.
Elyse  Walters
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The focus of Dr. Neal D. Bernard's new book is focused on BRAIN HEALTH!

Having read other books by Bernard, Joseph Mercola, Mark Hyman, Joel Fuhrman, Gary Null, Gabriel Cousins, Dean Ornish, Michael Pollen, etc. etc. --I suppose its fair to say, I have an interest in a healthy living lifestyle.

I 'still' find it valuable to reinforce information I've read (different ways) --a dozen times. I don't want to 'only' read 'health' books ---but I will include a few per year --trying to encourage myself
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014_books
love eating, and it is quite difficult for me to control my food cravings. This book makes some suggestions for how to conquer food cravings as well as sharpen our memory.

In this book three steps are introduced for the brain:

The first step is to take power foods. Vitamin E is a must to take. Included are broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, and nuts & seeds. We should also take natural fats such as omega-3 oil. Aluminum is very dangerous for our heath, so it is better to use aluminum-fr
Robert Luebke
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have read many books on nutrition and diet to delay or prevent alzheimer's disease. I feel this is the best book that I have read on this topic. Dr. Neal Barnard presents scientific evidence for his nutritional recommendations and presents it in an interesting manner. He also presents nutrional recipes at he end of the book. Dr. Barnard also lists at the end of the book all the scientific references chapter by chapter. I highly recommend this book for anyone with concerns or family history of ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a vegan who eats healthily and exercises, there wasn't a lot new for me in this, but Barnard's research is interesting and my guess is that most Americans don't know this info. I was surprised at his strong recommendation to not eat meat, milk and egg products, and liked how he looked at many common medicines that may be causing memory loss or other brain problems. Lots of great recipes at the end for people who want to try a healthier diet.
Kate Bishop
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I recently won this book through Goodreads Giveaways. I have been using it as a reference guide type book, and would highly recommend it to anyone concerned about their cognitive abilities: Young adults who want to protect the brain from damage that can lead to dementia; or older adults who have memory lapses, etc. It is very insightful, educational, and can be put to use easily.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great resource for anyone who fears dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and overall cognitive decline. Barnard presents valid research to show how/why so many deal with these horrible conditions. He presents 3 easy steps to take to help prevent and ensure that you keep your facilities late into your life. Don't live in fear, nutrition is powerful!!!
Carol DeNooyer
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Barnard's book is a great read if you want to eat healthy for your brain and heart. He goes beyond food too. It has prompted me to make some big changes in eating to more plant-based. I am looking forward to trying the recipes included.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Since my Dad has Alzheimer's , I wanted to read this book. It was very helpful and all ideas and suggestions backed by scientific research. Another good reason to eat a plant based diet.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
excellent recommendations for healthy eating / living.
many recipes at the back of the book are irresistible.
Abe Surde
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Meat bad. Veggies good. That's the sum of the book. There were some useful tidbits for why this is the case and heck, if it helps us eat more of the green stuff and less of the moo-ing and oinking four-legged creatures, I can get behind that, until I get a whiff of bacon fryin' in a pan. I try, but that bacon gets me every time.

That said, after reading this book, I certainly upped my veggie intake and decreased my burger buying. However, me thinks Dr. Barnard might be a little skewed in his fac
Benjamin Torres
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
It is a quite concise book, with good tips on how to avoid problems of the brain/mind generally associated with age.
Basically one should eat a plant based whole food diet, excercise the brain with reading and solving puzzles, excercise the body regularly, and consume B12 supplements, and if necessary also vitamins D, E and B6.
It promotes a vegan diet, which I am all up for, but the studies and evidence cited where not that impressive. My main reason to avoid animal products is not my health is
Puja Shah
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This is an informative book with several studies cited to back each point the author makes. However, it's a biased presentation in my opinion. The limitations to these studies (small sample size, study design, potential points of bias) are never discussed. Although I agree with a lot of what the author is explaining, I think the audience would benefit from a more well rounded presentation of each topic.

My rudimentary takeaways of the basic principles this book teaches: eat plant based whole food
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't need this book, but I am interested in the topic and this book was recommended by believable people.
The book is reasonably well written and explained, but the big problem is that the recommended diet ( and various solutions to health problems) is presented as the ultimate best solution, while it is not scientifically proven to work.
I disagree with many of the recommendations and have great long-term experience with different solutions.
There is a lot of information and ideas that I would
Jeff Birk
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Was reading an article which discussed things to do/foods to eliminate and eat to enhance brain power. Read this book and it has inspired me over the last week to make some changes. The main things I’m concentrating on now are an elimination of refined sugar and decreasing my meat intake to maybe once per week. Brittany is obviously thrilled. Snacks at work are out and I’ve cleaned out my “chocolate” drawer. He also talked about brain exercises and good learning habits to stay mentally active as ...more
May Deng
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like that this book provide tips and advice on how to protect your mind and strengthen your memory. Both things are important. There are so many things that can affect your mind and memory. We have to work at protecting our minds and strengthening our memories. I believe that it is best to stay healthy in all ways. We have to take care of our bodies and minds. I also think that it is best to live stress free.
Brian Patrick
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, health, audio, food
I'm surprised to report that I was very unimpressed with this book.
Honestly, I found it to be a very, very watered down version of the Blue Zones research (Dan Buettner), with a dash of the best-selling 'Salt, Sugar, Fat.'

If you are interested in nutrition as a key component of health/longevity, look to Buettner's work instead. Don't waste your time on this one, it doesn't delve thoroughly enough into any one component to thoroughly educate the reader.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The author wrote anecdotes and included studies and factual information, but turned around and scared you with all the diseases a brain can have. Naturally, this book provides remedies for all of the problems provided. The author encourages natural remedies rather than prescriptions, exercise and watching the intake of "Food as drugs." There are quite a few recipes in the back as well.
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Neal D. Barnard, M.D., is a nutrition researcher, author, and health advocate. As an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Barnard conducts studies on the role of nutrition in diabetes, obesity, and lipid management, among other health issues. His most recent clinical trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, established the v ...more

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