There are health and cook books targeted at weight management, increasing stamina and fitness, and even eating for your blood type, but have you considered eating for brain health?
Our brain is among our most important organs, the seat of cognitive function, memory and learning. However, the brain as with all organs is also susceptible to degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. These disorders are most frequently linked to ageing.
In 2015, there were 2.8 million senior citizens (aged 60 and above) or 9 per cent out of Malaysia’s 31 million population. By the year 2050, it is expected that Malaysia will have 40.7 million citizens with 23.5% of the population being senior citizen. Currently, 1.4 out 10 Malaysian adults aged 60 and above suffer from dementia. The incidence of dementia rises to 22.7% among those 75 years and above.
Healthy fats, including those found in local favorites coconut and fatty fish, may be the delicious and simple solution that can help to extend brain function for more years.
Enter Food for the Brain, a research-driven healthy cook book by Japanese anti-ageing specialist Professor Takuji Shirasawa that forwards the case for feeding your brain with the healthy fats from coconut and fatty fish to reduce degenerative effects for longer.
Professor Shirasawa is a prolific author in Japan with more than 230 books published for both the general public and the scientific community. His anti-ageing books have sold more than 3 million copies in Japan.
Food for the Brain has been written specifically for readers in Malaysia and Singapore, with recipes created to suit local tastes. It is available in English and Mandarin, with a Bahasa Malaysia version expected soon.
Printed in large type for easy reading even for older readers, with clear explanations for all ages, Food for the Brain highlights the role of Omega 3 fatty acids and MCTs in reducing the risk of dementia, diabetes, stroke and excessive weight gain. It features beautifully styled and photographed food, that will whet every appetite.
The first half of the book focuses on the research into the effects of Medium Chain Triglycerides and Omega 3 that have been proven to help reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with daily intake. The research has been presented in simple, easy to understand language.
It is important to note that these healthy fats are not a cure for those with degenerative brain diseases, but they have been shown in laboratory settings, and in small group usage to lessen some of the effects of degenerative brain diseases, and improve overall health; and to delay the onset of these diseases.
The second half of Food for the Brain showcase the recipes that were developed through a collaborative effort between experts across anti-ageing, nutrition, food styling and photography; Professor Shirasawa, Ms Daniela Shiga, Cooperating Researcher with Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, MyKenzen, a renowned nutrition service consulting company, Pelita Lim, a prominent food stylist in South-East Asia and Keat Song, an accomplished photographer.
These experts ensured that the recipes in this book were developed with local taste preferences and available ingredients in mind, analysed for high content of Omega 3 and MCT, tested for ease of preparation, tasted for deliciousness and proven in terms of nutritional values.
Each recipe comes with a beautifully styled and photographed image of the completed dish or beverage. The facing page details the ingredients, method of preparation, number of servings, nutritional analysis of calories, tips from Daniella on the additional benefits of ingredients, and the amount of MCT or Omega 3 present in the dish.
The recipe section is divided into food and drinks for different occasions – Breakfast, On the Go and Snacks, Main Meals and Sides as well as Drinks and Dessert, for quick reference.
“Maintaining good brain function, and overall good health for longer is very important as it will determine how the golden years are spent. If we start early with the right diet, we can look forward to a more active, productive and happier life after 60 with reduced risk of degenerative brain diseases. The traditional Malaysian diet that was rich in coconut and fatty fish such as sardines and tuna was better for brain health, than the more processed ‘fast foods’ that are the norm now,” said Professor Shirasawa.
“It is never too early to begin eating for health, in fact we should be eating for health from childhood. With this book, my first for Malaysia, we have shared the science, and brought readers recipes that will let them experience the point where healthy for the brain and delicious meet,” he added.
Everyone can benefit from the research, recipes and recommendations in Food for the Brain, from senior citizens and their caregivers, to younger people aiming to make a positive change in their longer term health. Even cooks and chefs will find these recipes a useful addition for natural, healthy, coconut and fatty fish based recipes which can be made with ease and flair.
Among the dishes are Chia Seed Porridge, Coconut Pancake, Mackerel Curry, Mum’s Sardines, Parmesan Crusted Tuna Rice Balls, Tuna & Sardine Wrap, Coconut Milk Ice Cream and Mango Coconut Smoothie.
Pricing and Availability
Food for the Brain, is available now through Popular Bookstores, nationwide at an introductory price of RM 15.90 per copy (original price: RM 19.90 per copy). Every purchase of Food for the Brain comes with a complimentary Ayam Brand coconut milk (200ml); while stocks last.