The Brain Diet

I first considered reviewing “The Brain Diet” after my husband and I had a conversation about our own issues of forgetfulness. The book is described by the publishers as “connecting nutrition, mental health and intelligence” In addition the first line on the book’s cover claims that this author will outline a “A Nutritional Plan for Raising Smarter Children”. What loving parent wouldn’t want to avail themselves of such a resource?

The first thing I did was turn to the food section in the back. Hmmm, let’s see. The “Buffalo Burgers “require 1 ½ pounds of actual ground buffalo meat. Or there was the “Sardine Pasta Brain Booster”. I closed my eyes and imagined my children eyeing small fish afloat their bowl of pasta. Maybe not that one either. Oh here’s one “Japanese Crab and Seaweed Salad. Nope. That would be a big thumbs down from the kids as well. There were a few recipes I could conceivably serve (with fear and trembling) to my waiting family, but none would be considered within the normal range of down home cooking. To be fair there were some very ordinary individual foods that boost brain health like ginger, cinnamon, broccoli, walnuts and almonds. That was hopeful.

As I suspected in advance, the book did manage to make me feel incredibly guilty about the poor start I had given my children. Who knew that the amount of high fructose corn syrup found in a single glass of soda would lower my children’s antioxidant blood levels for up to four hours? Or that even small amount of trans fats (like those found in much of the packaged food we consume) wreaks havoc in our bodies every day? When I did push on through the daunting information, I found useful facts that helped me to formulate a more simple, balanced approach to brain health, such as olive oil and honey have been shown to produce lactobacilli, a “friendly bacteria” that boosts our metabolic processes. Or the more purple foods you can pack into your life the better. (And yes grape juice counts!)

All in all I can recommend this book as a comprehensive resource. You of course can ultimately pick and choose the parts that appeal to you and hope it is enough to redeem the seemingly dismal job you’ve done of boosting the genius capacity of your offspring. Or you can make a pan of Grandmas famous meatloaf and tell yourself that Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin did not eat seaweed or black sesame paste and they ended up just fine. The final word is this: the Bible says to respect the body God gave you but not to worship it. So let common sense prevail. Love your kids; feed them well, trust the Father!

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