Non-Fiction: Keep Your Brain Young by Fraser Smith and Ellie Aghdassi

Keep Your Brain Young (Robert Rose) was hanging around my desk for a while before I realized it was, among other things, a cookbook. “You are what you eat,” reverberated through my mind.

Prior to that I’d thought it was just my editor’s barb that I was no longer as young and sharp as I was when I started writing for January Magazine many moons ago and high time I began looking for ways to keep the old thinking machine sharp and strong.

And then I peeked inside.

This book offers the promise of protecting, repairing, and enhancing your mental health while coincidentally improving your general physical well-being.

Which sounded like a good start.

Before we get to food, of course, there’s a whole lot about the diseases associated with aging, how they progress and what causes them. Don’t kid yourself: this is not cheery stuff, but as Smith notes at the very beginning of Keep Your Brain Young: “It is a fact of life — we are all going to age.” I would add, “If we’re lucky.”

Part 2 of the book deals with “Smart Nutrients,” how to get them and what the lack of them can cause. Then the “12-Step Healthy Brain Diet Program,” which leads quite naturally to Part 5: “Menu Plans and Recipes for a Healthy Brain” which is a good two thirds of the book.

In addition to recipes, meal plans are included and encouraged, but the recipes take center stage. Nutritional information is included on each recipe page as is a detailed ingredients list and clear instructions.

Keep Your Brain Young is a useful and informative book both for those dealing with specific age-related ailments as well as those many of us who are enjoying the privilege of growing older. ◊

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