Baycrest launches world's first science-based cookbook for the brain

October 24, 2012

With dementia rates expected to soar in coming decades as Canada's population gets older, a nutrition and cognitive scientist with the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences has cooked up a strategy to help people maintain good brain health.

Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior scientist and Canada's leading professor of nutrition and , has teamed up with Daphna Rabinovitch, an award-winning recipe developer and food writer, and Joanna Gryfe, a food and media expert, to create the world's first science-based cookbook for the brain.

Available only as an e-book, Mindfull provides a 300-page feast of consumer-friendly information on the science of nutrition and brain health, what this means in terms of eating to promote a healthy brain, plus 100 delicious recipe ideas to fire up your synapses! Celebrity Canadian chefs from coast to coast, including Michael Smith, Mark McEwan and Dale Mackay, as well as Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, contributed recipes for the book.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 60% of Alzheimer's diagnoses are attributed to . Poor eating habits and a lack of physical and intellectual stimulation are stronger drivers for than genetics alone.

"We know that diet is an important predictor of how well our brain ages and that people who have better quality diets have greater preservation of their with aging," says Dr. Greenwood. In the book, she debunks myths about nutrition, tells us what to eat to promote optimal brain health and healthy aging, and provides useful tips on how to boost our cognitive function at times of the day when we are feeling low – always ensuring that her advice can be easily adapted by the busy home cook.

"The recipes we developed for this book were of course inspired by very particular food choices, but just as importantly by many global and ethnic cuisines, making the recipes exciting and diverse," says Rabinovitch.

"Health eating, as the book brings to life, has never been more delectable, gratifying and energizing."

The cookbook covers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, appetizers and desserts. From Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes with Ricotta Topping for a lazy weekend breakfast, to great ideas for on-the-go quick meals, healthy sandwiches, soups, meat, vegetarian, pasta and fish dishes, there is a variety of brain healthy recipes to choose from.

Before the weekly grocery run, readers can skim the handy reference chart of foods that are rich in brain-healthy nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, fibre, folate and Vitamin B12, polyphenols and mono-unsaturated fats. The book lists many spices and herbs which are also thought to have brain-protective compounds and can be used to enhance the flavor of what we eat.

For people-on-the-go who don't have time to eat nutritious meals, Dr. Greenwood has this advice: "There are a number of recipes in the book that you can make in less than 15 minutes. It really starts with your selection of foods when you're in the grocery store. Look for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains that can be easily incorporated into salads, for example. These are quick and nutritious meals."

The e-cookbook is available as a $9.99 download from e-book retailers iTunes, Amazon, Kobo and coming soon on Google Play. Mindfull was conceived by Women of Baycrest volunteers, and supported by the Baycrest Foundation and Cogniciti Inc. Proceeds from the sale of the e-book will support Baycrest programs and services that promote excellence and innovations in aging and brain health.

Explore further: Keep aging brains sharp: Brain games, exercise and diet help prevent cognitive slide

Related Stories

Keep aging brains sharp: Brain games, exercise and diet help prevent cognitive slide

April 4, 2012
Exercising, eating a healthy diet and playing brain games may help you keep your wits about you well into your 80s and even 90s, advises a new book by researchers at George Mason University.

Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline

August 22, 2011
Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease.

Ultimate volumetrics diet book helps people lose weight, manage hunger

March 26, 2012
A new book by Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Penn State, aims to help people control their hunger while also losing weight. "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet" will ...

'Eat your vegetables!' New book redefines how to raise healthy eaters

May 29, 2012
How do you get a picky young eater who refuses everything to like fruits and vegetables? How do you get children to try nutritious foods when all they want is something sweet or salty? How do you raise healthy eaters without ...

Recommended for you

Delayed word processing could predict patients' potential to develop Alzheimer's disease

October 20, 2017
A delayed neurological response to processing the written word could be an indicator that a patient with mild memory problems is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, research led by the University of Birmingham ...

PET scans for Alzheimer's could bring benefit to more patients

October 19, 2017
An imaging tool honed to spot rogue proteins in the brain could benefit some patients with suspected Alzheimer's, according to a new study.

One step closer toward a treatment for Alzheimer's disease?

October 18, 2017
Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in collaboration with colleagues at the University California, San Diego (UCSD), have characterized a new class of drugs as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease ...

New mechanism detected in Alzheimer's disease

October 13, 2017
McGill University researchers have discovered a cellular mechanism that may contribute to the breakdown of communication between neurons in Alzheimer's disease.

Neuroscientists identify genetic changes in microglia in a mouse model of neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease

October 13, 2017
Microglia, immune cells that act as the central nervous system's damage sensors, have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

Green tea extract delivers molecular punch to disrupt formation of neurotoxic species

October 11, 2017
Green tea is widely considered to be beneficial for the brain. The antioxidant and detoxifying properties of green tea extracts help fight catastrophic diseases such as Alzheimer's. However, scientists have never fully understood ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.