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Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  911 ratings  ·  129 reviews
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 ra
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Avery Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Jane Stewart
I don’t know whether to give this a 2 for below average or 3 for interesting.

There were many interesting things in the book, but it lacked scientific research. Most of it felt like her personal opinion. Some of her advice follows.

All food must be organic, no GMOs. Cattle must be organic grass fed. Chickens must be raised outdoors cage free on organic food. All animals must be antibiotic and hormone free.

My understanding of GMOs: they are all different. Some corn is designed to make cattle
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We have among the most complex brains among all animals, and also the most demanding as a result. This book is an important one as it brings together current research to recommend how we can eat for better brain performance and safeguard ourselves from dementia in later years.
A very small fraction of dementia cases is caused due to the genes (<1%), and brain health in later years is largely determined by what we eat, and also our lifestyle. This book covers all aspects holistically though the em
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more.

Lisa Mosconi has excellent credentials-trained in Neuroscience and Nutrition-that give her the research-backed clout to speak to the kind of food that would make our brain work better. However, while I can get behind her basic recommendations to eat more fish and vegetables because they contain goodies the brain needs to operate its best, there were other claims that I did not see any science behind. For example, her #1 recommendation is that all produce must be
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mosconi is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and the Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research interests lie in using PET and MRI imaging in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Clearly, Mosconi knows what she is talking about!
All of us know someone who is (or has) suffered from dementia—particularly Alzheimer’s. It is a horrific disease that we hope and pray doesn’t visit us in our later years. Mosconi makes a s
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, health
A worthwhile book based on the latest and most trustworthy findings on brain health and Alzheimer's research. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC, combines her knowledge and training in Neuroscience / Neurology and 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, delv ...more
Karolyn Sherwood
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If every adult read BRAIN FOOD, by Lisa Mosconi, it might change the course of history. A non-fiction book like this, one that makes bold claims about health matters, is entirely dependent on the author's credentials. Lisa Mosconi has the right credentials: She has a duel PhD in neuroscience and Nuclear Medicine, and is a board-certified integrative nutritionist and holistic health-care practitioner; she is the associate director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical Coll ...more
Kelly Knapp
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants better health
Recommended to Kelly by: won as part of the Goodreads Firstreads giveaways
I have read books and articles claiming that playing certain games will help keep your brain strong and ward off dementias and Alzheimer's. This seemed plausible, but did not explain why these illnesses are in an upswing...some have claimed our longer lives as the culprit, however, after reading Mosconi's book, I suspect that our poor diets have much to do with the problems.

The book is very readable, and designed for the general reader, not just for other business cohorts.
Kari Yergin
Jul 18, 2018 added it
Shelves: audio
Water is the most important nutrient for your brain. Start out with a big glass of water upon waking, and the day with a cup of herbal tea, and drink at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day, room temp. Also eat water rich foods like
Watermelon strawberries grapefruit cantaloupe and peaches, in that order.
Cucumber lettuce zucchini radishes and celery, in that order

Eat less than 13 g of saturated fat a day or the equivalent of three slices of bacon. I should check how many grams are in sa
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-ish
My mom passed away about a year and a half ago after suffering horrifically from progressive nonfluent aphasia, a form of dementia. A kind neurologist advised me, while I was with her for a consultation regarding her latest brain scan, that my chances of ending up in her situation were only slightly higher than the average, but that fear, nevertheless, constantly plagues me. So I was Very pleased by Mosconi's assurance that I can dramatically reduce my chances of dementia by following her diet r ...more
Taras Dmytrus
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has some interesting ideas and is easy to read. Unfortunately author is so GMO phobic - and she never explains why she thinks its that bad, I am not even talking about backing it up with some science tests.
I got a feeling that some things were put as good or bad just based on authors personal feeling about it - you should not eat eggs with yellow yolk because its utterly unhealthy (if you google this there are a lot of research that prove that there is no big differences between lighte
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
FINALLY!!! A doctor that listens to those of us with a long family history of Alzheimer's and dementia. We live in fear of losing our precious memories.. that we've seen in loved one's as they have aged. There are things that you CAN eat that will promote a healthy brain! There are also things that you do that can have a negative long lasting impact upon your brain health. The book is easy to read and understand. One that I will reference many times in the future on my path to avoiding Alzheimer ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm rating this book 5 stars because it has inspired me to provide healthier food for my family. Great scientific backing. I plan on reading this book again if I need a boost in healthy living inspiration. Working in health care, I see the influence poor lifestyle choices can have on an individual. It's hard work to constantly provide whole, healthy food for a busy family-but this book reinforces why it's worth the effort.
Anne Libera
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Good information - not a whole lot that is new if you have read the better nutrition books in the past but inspired me to buy dandelion greens, eat more caviar, and more intentionally incorporate intermittent fasting into my schedule
Sara Aouichi
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
this was one hell of an intresting reading ^^
im so going to try few things from here and put an update about it later on
Jeanette Mabry-crissman
It’s an excellent collection of facts and her research is solid, but I didn’t learn anything new which was my objective. It does serve a wide audience of novice in nutrition science to well-read laymen with action plans by degree of interest in improving your long term brain health.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I lost 2-3 pounds reading this book! That sounds funny, but it's true. This is the best and most profound book I've read on such a subject. When it's published, several in my immediate family will receive a copy from me. And I want to give my ARC copy to another, so I'll buy one for myself. That's how much I think of the book. It's going to change my life. Today I went grocery shopping, list in hand, to a health food store I already frequent. My husband seemed spellbound and dubious.

The book is
Emma Le
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall it’s a great book for getting introduced to nutrition and essentials for the brain. The aspect of the book that I enjoyed most was the friendly and comprehensive use of language. Although compared to other nutrition books that I’ve read, this book comes off as more of a personal discussion with the author’s opinions more than factual and scientific information.
Nonetheless, it depends on the reader whether you want something more dense or just a pleasant easy to read guide.
Sally Lovelock
Quite interesting in parts but hard to read consistently as sometimes a bit tedious. Very informative though and worth a read
Kristin Kowalk
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good overall health information in one book. Some of the research is new, but most isn’t. Helpful information related to Alzheimer’s prevention.
Mary Arkless
Well, I've had this book much, much longer than I ever expected. I borrowed it from the library. I had to extend it a number of times, because other books I requested with a shorter loan period kept coming available. I even returned this book once and took it out again, because I'd reached the maximum number of renewals! I was actually rushing to try to finish it, when Covid-19 caused the UK to shutdown. Our council decided to renew all outstanding library books until 1 June. Scotland is now get ...more
Mar 12, 2019 added it
Shelves: health-wellness
If this book had been better organized, perhaps by the strong hand of a developmental editor, it would have been excellent. As it stands, it is only so-so, but contains very good research and advice on healthy eating habits. The foundation is the standard stock advice which everyone ought to know but almost no one follows; eat your vegetables, go easy on the animal fats, and stay away from sugar and processed foods. There's much more, though, and all in all it adds up to an actionable plan with ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It feels like someone with the right credentials and background is finally clarifying all the pieces of information I've read here and there about nutrition.
She's structuring everything nicely in this book, which I'll keep as a reference from now on when organizing my grocery list and meal plans.
Blaine Morrow
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mosconi summarizes brain research that links diet with cognitive functionality, and provides clear suggestions for improving what you eat to stave off mental disease (particularly dementia and Alzheimer's).
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This is probably closer to a three for me, though there was some interesting content. I skimmed some, but am glad I read it.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
insightful. will definitely be trying to incorporate some of these into my life.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book with practical nutritional advice on eating for your brain and overall health. Includes some recipes and a survey to see how your current diet compares. It has encouraged me to include more superfoods in my diet.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First, I need to explain that I gave this book a 5-star rating primarily because I think everyone should read it. It is well written and easy to understand with practical application to improve your brain's health through diet. However, it possibly really deserves a 4-star rating because I believe the author is so far along in her own healthy eating habits, that she's a little out of touch with the average person's, especially an American's, diet. For example, when she describes certain recipes ...more
Bethany Caley
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing and comprehensive book that goes into great detail about the brain and the best ways to keep it healthy. I found the writing style really easy to follow and not too over complicated which is important when reading about brain science! The book touches on an array of topics such as gut microbiome, the blue zones, exercise and brain healthy habits (like reading and board games). Every book I read about health and nutrition seem to say a different thing, so take this book with a ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Brain Food by Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC
326 pages

What’s it about?
Lisa Mosconi is both a neuroscientist and a certified integrative nutritionist. In this book she delves into the question of what to eat for the health of your brain.

Here is link to her TED talk that covers a lot of the same material.

What did I learn?
my biggest take aways- in no particular order

-drinking natural spring water is really important. Think 8- 8oz. glasses a
Interesting overall, with lots of good advice and tips. I found it a little hit and miss for me. I'm by no means a beginner and have a pretty darn healthy diet, but found much of the advice overwhelming and/or off-putting. Caviar, really? The economics of what she suggests are troubling for anyone who lives outside of a big city and/or doesn't have the money and time for the type of grocery shopping and cooking that following this to a T requires.

At the end of the book, she gets a little more pr
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