Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life – Pina Books
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ew York Times Bestseller

Discover the critical link between your brain and the food you eat and change the way your brain ages, in this cutting-edge, practical guide to eliminating brain fog, optimizing brain health, and achieving peak mental performance from media personality and leading voice in health Max Lugavere.

After his mother was diagnosed with a mysterious form of dementia, Max Lugavere put his successful media career on hold to learn everything he could about brain health and performance. For the better half of a decade, he consumed the most up-to-date scientific research, talked to dozens of leading scientists and clinicians around the world, and visited the country’s best neurology departments—all in the hopes of understanding his mother’s condition.

Now, in Genius Foods, Lugavere presents a comprehensive guide to brain optimization. He uncovers the stunning link between our dietary and lifestyle choices and our brain functions, revealing how the foods you eat directly affect your ability to focus, learn, remember, create, analyze new ideas, and maintain a balanced mood.

Weaving together pioneering research on dementia prevention, cognitive optimization, and nutritional psychiatry, Lugavere distills groundbreaking science into actionable lifestyle changes. He shares invaluable insights into how to improve your brain power, including

  • the nutrients that can boost your memory and improve mental clarity (and where to find them);
  • the foods and tactics that can energize and rejuvenate your brain, no matter your age;
  • a brain-boosting fat-loss method so powerful it has been called “biochemical liposuction”; and
  • the foods that can improve your happiness, both now and for the long term.

With Genius Foods, Lugavere offers a cutting-edge yet practical road map to eliminating brain fog and optimizing the brain’s health and performance today—and decades into the future.

58 reviews for Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life

  1. J Emmerling (verified owner)

    At last, here is the book that I can highly recommend to my clients and friends. There are many references out there (and I think I have read most of them) that delve deep into the science and come out with radical plans for eliminating life as most people know it. As a life and wellness coach, my clients need a place to start that isn’t so overwhelming. Genius Foods is a book that they will not only read and enjoy but that will help them understand the why behind life style changes. The authors write with personality and wit. The analogies that help explain complex topics are always on point, and the clever cultural references keep coming.
    So many of these books leave you feeling that there is nothing left to eat, but Genius Foods keeps adding wonderful nutritious foods. They are not creating a need for a product that they happen to have formulated. While the focus is on keeping the brain healthy now and in the future, the rest of the body certainly will benefit.

    This book is a labor of love. Max Lugavere weaves the compelling story of how he came to explore these topics throughout the book. His search to understand and find answers to his mother’s illness led him to immerse himself in brain health research. We benefit from his exhaustive study of how our health is constructed (or destroyed) and what we can do to be at our healthiest today and in the future. He writes, “Because a healthier brain enhances our experience of the world, it allows us to be the truest and most expressed version of ourselves, capable of feeling, learning, loving, and connecting in ways that make life worth living.” If your Mom can’t thank you, Max, then let this mom tell you how much I appreciate your work. I might even dare to hand this book to my own thirty-somethings.

    The Genius Plan leaves the toxic foods behind and highlights many of the foods that are essential for our present and future well-being. You won’t go hungry on this plan, nor will you miss your cravings and those extra pounds. Sleep, exercise, stress and digestion are also addressed.This is a plan for life, for living and for preserving your precious brain. How can you resist that?

  2. Chu on this (verified owner)

    First of all, I highly recommend this book! It is definitely now on the top of my required reading list for my nutrition clients as an easy to understand, comprehensive, educational source of information.

    Max’s writing style is personable and relevant, with a nice sprinkling of modern cultural references just for fun. This work contains clear, concise, applicable and well sourced nutritional concepts that challenge not just the status quo and the (not so well researched) government dietary standards, but also highlights new information that could shift some recommendations made by nutritionists and other health professionals.

    One of my favorite things about Max’s work, which is strongly represented in this book, is his unique ability to take current scientific research, process it, assimilate it, and then give it to us in a truly comprehensive way, without “dumbing it down”. You will walk away from this book with practical, usable information to immediately apply to your diet, and a strong desire to share it with everyone important in your life.

    It is a great read for both the person who has very little knowledge of food and the body, AND for the well educated nutritional professional.

    Some of my favorite highlights include:

    Field Notes at the end of each chapter break down weighty concepts into bite-sized tweetable/quotable/memorable nuggets.
    The genius foods highlighted throughout the book list specific superfoods that quite literally feed your brain.
    FAQ’s at the end of some sections immediately address real life questions that come up after concepts are presented. It brings it back home after a challenging idea is shared.

    Doctor’s Notes- the book was coauthored by a functional MD who adds the medical perspective in applicable snippets.

    Bioindividuality- the authors are careful to recognize that for every trend there are outliers that don’t fit, whether for genetic or environmental reasons. There is still no such thing as a one size fits all food model and I appreciate that this was addressed. With that awareness though, I truly believe that by applying the concepts covered in this book, almost anyone will see improvements in their overall health.

  3. BLynn (verified owner)

    This book is my new go-to resource to which I may refer to people when they ask, “What do you do?” So many people struggle with their weight, and because I am relatively fit and lean, they ask me what I do. I have a Word document I put together with a list of people and reference materials with internet links (including “”), but now, I plan to recommend reading Genius Foods. This book has it all! What I have been learning about and incorporating in my life is everything I have found that is protective of my brain. I am interested in maintaining or even improving my cognitive abilities as well as my good health and fitness. I am also seeking to optimize longevity – or more importantly – health span. Of course, what is good for the brain is good for the body, and this book has everything one needs – like the instruction manual for maintenance of the modern human. Everything I have learned by reading over a dozen books and countless blogs and research articles and by listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts has been distilled into this easy-to-read, incredibly informative, and surprisingly entertaining book. (The pop culture references abound! Use your brain, and see if you can catch them all. After all, “Winter is coming…”) Yes, I think you will enjoy reading it even if you are not a health nerd who regularly indulges on this type of information (like me). I am very impressed with the breadth of the book’s content. Max and Dr. Grewal are busting many long-held but health-harming myths and giving you the powerful information and practical tips and tools you need to save your brain – and the rest of your body – from the ravages of this modern toxic environment. #GeniusFoods

  4. Massi (verified owner)

    If you’re looking for a surprisingly delightful read about nutrition and brain health, as well as some helpful tips to stave off illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, then you’ve found the right book! The author, Max Lugavere, has done a wonderful job at interlacing his personal life, dietary health and serious topics about mental health with a lighthearted and humanist approach. His ability to communicate heavy topics in a non-threatening way was extraordinarily well done, as well as very entertaining. In fact, he has done this so well, at times it felt like I was sitting down with an old friend as he poured out a life story chock-full of heartache, optimism, humor and a lot of great advice! It was great how I could hear his personality coming through his writing. It was refreshing and brilliantly done! I appreciated how often he referenced other scientific and medical professionals as he weaved an intricate web of knowledge for us all to take advantage of. I savored this read and I LOVED the cookbook portion at the end. I’m excited to explore the many tasty recipes! Hopefully, they’ll help my brain and body perform at its best while tantalizing my taste buds! For me, this has turned out to be more than just a book; it’s a tool that can help us all live healthier, longer and happier lives. Overall, it has made me hopeful for the future. Need I say more? You should definitely get this book!!!

  5. Josh Mellman (verified owner)

    Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal have put together an incredible resource on nutrition and the brain. Max shares his own personal story with his mom, and you can feel the love that this son has for his mother. Max has poured his heart into his research, and it shines through in this book.

    “Genius Foods” is broken down in a smart way where you can read it cover to cover and then revisit chapters as a resource guide later. While there’s so much conflicting information about nutrition, “Genius Foods” breaks down the science and gives clear answers. The book focuses on brain health to deliver meaningful information that you can start using immediately. It’s well-written, practical, and easy to understand.

    For many of us, our worst fear is dementia. “Genius Foods” gives us action steps that we can implement to prevent cognitive decline for ourselves and our loved ones. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and “Genius Foods” is worth every penny.

    I learned so much reading this book, and I expect to go back through the pages again and again. I would highly recommend “Genius Foods” to anyone who values a healthy brain — everyone I hope!

  6. Saints Fan (verified owner)

    highly recommend Max Lugavere’s book Genius Foods!! Several years ago, I happened to hear someone mention the book Wheat Belly. I read it and that was a life changer for me. Much of what I thought was “healthy” was not healthy at all. Since then, I’ve become focused on becoming as informed as possible regarding my health. I’ve read numerous books and listen to health-related books on audible all the time (makes my awful commute in Atlanta traffic productive!). Genius Foods is one of the best I’ve read. It is comprehensive but easy to follow and provides a blueprint for immediately improving your brain health. The book does a good job of explaining “how and why” – you will finish the book with a thorough understanding of the affects of lifestyle factors on your health. This book is written to address brain health but the principles outlined in this book affect total body health as well. If I were to recommend one book that gives you the best and most comprehensive information on improving your health, Genius Foods is the one to read (or listen to).

  7. Dena (verified owner)

    As someone that has had grandparents with dementia, this book was a must read for me as I want to educate myself on ways to improve my own brain health, as well as, my family’s. I found that this book was an easy read. You can really feel the author’s passion for the topic of brain health and his desire to improve the health of others. Max Lugavere does a wonderful job of presenting scientific subject matter and making it understandable to those that are not in the medical field like myself! He keeps the reader engaged through offering humorous analogies and references such as how: “man-made trans fats are not just bad; they’re Darth Vader-meets-Lord Voldemort bad”. Now that’s bad! I also really enjoyed how Lugavere relates the material back to his own life and experiences- It makes the book more personable. I can’t wait for my mom to read her copy so we can discuss!

  8. LESLIE MONTANO (verified owner)

    Max has gathered together the most up-to-date studies and information from leading scientists and doctors into this book that enlightens us on what’s known and what’s working in the area of brain health. He presents the information in a way that dives deep yet is easy to understand and allows for us to implement simple changes that can have powerful positive effects for our lives and our brains. These changes are not about depriving ourselves! They are about informed lifestyle choices that are fun and absolutely delicious! The information is important for all ages — whether you want to help your kids with focus and learning or lift your own brain fog, sleep better, stress less, and feel happier or protect yourself and loved ones against dementia later in life. This book is genius!

  9. Jessica Minhas (verified owner)

    I didn’t start seeking out preventative brain health care until I was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis last year. At the time my memory was shot, my abilities were shot, I lost work, and I felt like my life was over. Brain illness can feel so challenging and hopeless to heal from, so I sat on the couch pigging out on sugar and chocolate to soothe my depression. Of course. I mean, what else could I do? Actually, a lot. I had to change everything about my life and that included food first. But I was clueless (and overwhelmed) about where to start. Take it from someone who, like us, has sought answers to support someone they love in sickness, and as someone who, knowing the fragility of our brains personally, is also a patient like we all are. Max takes a simple approach to a complicated issue. Health is wealth. Genius Food is a step-by-step guide to one of those first steps, diet, whether you’re facing illness or someone you love is. It’s so much more than a book. It’s your genius life.

  10. joy keippela (verified owner)

    Coming from a family that has struggled with neurological disease, I went into reading Genius Foods with an open mind. I desperately want to find a book that I can pass on to Dad who has Parkinson’s disease that can give him some hope. At this point hope is what he needs and I believe that Max’s book is going to be a fantastic gift for him. Easy to read and full of solid information. I learned a lot that I will be implementing in my own family and will be passing on the information not only to Dad and Mom but to my friends as well. I would say that you have nothing to loose and everything to gain by picking up a copy of Genius Foods. I can almost guarantee that everyone will find at least a few new ideas that they can apply to their life right now that will make a positive difference VERY quickly!

  11. Elizabeth Seferler (verified owner)


    A good quality diet is paramount to maintaining a healthy brain , optimum nutrition for the mind . Feed your brain through diet , everyday foods to combat the aging process to the brain from inside and out . This book identifies the different aspects of health that are needed to safeguard vitality and a healthy brain , the best foods and worst foods , the foods that will help and those you should avoid . After reading this book , there is no turning back , it will reframe your understanding of nutrition science and inspire you to take your health and future into your hands . It offers the most effective and safe way to prevent and treat cognitive conditions , power foods for the brain , an effective way to protect your mind and strengthen your cognitive health .

    A brilliant read , imagine what your brain could do under complete control , a must read . If you need an incentive to start eating more healthy , here it is , get smart , eat smart and improve your health . Food is medicine , you are what you eat and this book offers you a simple approach that will assist in taking charge of your brain health and body . Learn what defines genius foods and how they help by eating right could improve brain function and reduce the possibility of disease , avoid the ingredients and toxins that damage the brain .

    This book does a great job of explaining the science behind the theory , your brain will thank you for it , putting yourself in the drivers seat . Every bite you take is either fighting disease , or feeding it , this book puts all the confusion and conflicting information out here regarding health and nutrition to rest .
    Training your brain and body for optimal health and performance at any age , happy brain , happy life . This book covers gut health which is considered the second brain , your gut has a mind of its own . A must read , thanks Max Lugavere
    Giving this book the attention it deserves _ game changer , ღ from MELBOURNE

  12. MarNew (verified owner)

    Max Lugavere’s life took an unexpected pathway when his mother, who was only in her fifties was diagnosed with “Parkinson’s Plus”. He took advantage of his journalist credentials to meet and interview thought leaders from around the world to learn everything he could to help his mother. He discovered that nutrition is key and certain foods can make an important difference to our health for better or worse. Many people are resigned to believing that our genes are our destiny, but Max learned that our genes “merely predict what the Standard American Diet will do to you,” and that we have the power to settle for poor health or strive for healthy aging. In many cases, a nutritional change can reverse much of the damage the SAD has done to us and set us off on our way to a better life.

    Max’s journalist skills are apparent as he makes the science of nutrition an interesting read.

    The Coconut Oil and Low-Carb Solution for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Other Diseases: A Guide to Using Diet and a High-Energy Food to Protect and Nourish the Brain

  13. Jean Icaza (verified owner)

    Decide for yourself but When I look around what do I see? We are surrounded, bombarded, buried and overloaded with junk food. And just when you think you may have found a yummy safe nugget of a snack- you read the fine print and see the ingredients are not good for you. Nothing new but when you read Genius Foods, there is a wealth of info to explain the effects on ones body when you ingest these unhealthy ingredients. This provides you with much to think about. It’s your health after all.

  14. Michelle Gillette Coaching (verified owner)

    This book is an example of someone turning their pain into purpose: Not only is this book a treasure trove of useful and (literally) mind-altering, health inspiring nutritional information that helps protect against Alzheimer’s, but it’s also a son’s love story to his mother. It was written both from the heart and from the brain— as the author/ journalist, Max Lugavere, shares the moving story of his relentless search for a more promising Alzheimer’s treatment, after witnessing his mother’s diagnosis at age 58. The result of his dogged determination and (ongoing) purpose-filled quest is this very worthwhile book. Highly recommended. But here is a review that sums it up even better, by by William Davis MD, Author of the Wheat Belly series and Undoctored:
    “Max Lugavere has pursued a personal mission to learn and educate others in the increasingly-concerning issue of dementia and cognitive decline. In Genius Foods, he has compiled the most masterful summary of nutritional science relevant to brain health that I have ever read. Heartfelt, readable, and real, Max shows us just how powerful someone with a mission can cut through the misinformation that characterizes conventional dietary advice and comes to conclusions that are unexpected and powerful. If you are interested in preventing cognitive decline and dementia, Max’s book is an absolute must read.”
    It’s such a worthwhile read.
    -Michelle Gillette
    IG: aging.gracefully

  15. Nutritionbuff (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this to read and really interesting. However, please don’t follow the recipes advising you to eat saturated fat like beef and chicken liver. My grandmother ate little sugar and grains but ate vegetables and animal products on a daily basis (as this book advocates in recipes). She got bad dementia at age 62 and had plaque in her arteries due to animal fat. I believe Dr. Neal Barnard’s advice to avoid saturated fat. He is as sharp as a whip and older. Or look up Dr. Essylstyn. Proof right there. Still, there is other good advice in the book, and I liked it.

  16. Sharon Woodgett (verified owner)

    Easy reading, informative.

  17. Don Bishop (verified owner)

    Clearly written — would be a good read for someone who is not familiar with the topic.

  18. kitty (verified owner)

    I just started reading this…. so far so good. Lots of different ideas.

  19. Gretchen Mork (verified owner)

    A fantastic collection of facts and such. Didn’t like the format.

  20. Mary S. Dunsmoor (verified owner)

    I bought it for my son and he said he liked it.

  21. Mike (verified owner)

    Item as described and fast shipment

  22. Diane Kennedy, – (verified owner)

    No issues, would purchase from again.

  23. Thaddeus Ryker (verified owner)

    I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it is true. I have changed my diet radically since reading this book and I sleep better than I have in 5 years. That was not the first result I expected but it was welcome. There is a lot of great knowledge in this book. If you are skeptical …. good. Max would be the first to say that’s ok. A little skepticism is healthy. Read some of the cited studies, do some of your own research, take nothing on faith. This has become one of the top two books I recommend to friends and family to improve their life and health.

  24. Alonsa Guevara<span class="a-icon a-profile-verified-badge"><span class="a-profile-verified-text"></span></span> (verified owner)

    It’s difficult to give this book the kudos it deserves- As this is my first review, I will try my best without sounding like an infomercial.

    First off, It’s a fun read and easy to understand. The knowledge inside this unassuming book is VITAL if you want to be healthy and who doesn’t. It’s a (research-backed) gem amongst an endless stream of information and misinformation that is the food, health, and nutrition world. There’s no gimmick, and the only agenda present inside is a desire see people healthier. If you think you’re already “healthy” as I did, you want this book. If you’re about to start your wellness journey or somewhere in between, you want this book. You will thank yourself daily, and it will pay dividends for you and your family over time. If you read it, share it with your community- as I’m trying to do here.

    A little about me: Most would probably consider me “healthy,” and some might consider me a “health-nut”- it’s all relative. After reading Max and Dr. Paul’s book, I realized there where more than a few things that I could improve. For me, these where mostly micro changes, primarily relating to fats. For others, you may want (or need) to make significant lifestyle changes- and that can be hard, but, if you don’t inform yourself, well, you don’t have much of a fighting chance; I gave this book to my mom who many might consider unhealthy, I’m happy say she liked it and was also moved by its content. Like many, She’s just starting her journey, doing the best she can and I’m sure it’s going to be filled with ups and down- at least she is armed with information. This book is not an easy fix, because there is no easy fix. Whether you will be making small or large changes, every change inspired from Genius Foods will be giant leaps forward for your health and cognitive longevity.

    As Nike says “Just Do It”!

  25. KJC (verified owner)

    It’s very informative but too detailed for my finite mind to take in. I got bogged down in all the terminology.

  26. Leesher (verified owner)

    Its a very interesting and useful book though it could use a lot more pictures of the recipes.

  27. Humble Patriot (verified owner)

    I lost 35 pounds by eliminating sugars and complex carbohydrates from my diet. I did so by starting out on the low-carb/high-fat diet. Then, as I learned more about healthy fats, the industrial meat supply, and the insecticides and herbicides thatsaturate our agricultural crops, I shifted to the paleo lifestyle. Most of this I got from internet resources like Mark’s Daily Apple and The Diet Doctor. I began experiencing tremendous health benefits from paleo, but was not fully aware of the reasons why. Genius Foods solves the mystery. Not only does this book provide guidelines for eating foods that will fuel and preserve your entire metabolic system and cognitive health, it explains the science behind this strategy and why it works in a way that is easy to understand for not only doctors and scientists, but the health-conscious layman as well. This was an excellent book and I have already purchased copies for friends and family. The only major disappointment for me is the fact that, at the time of this writing, the author never made the movie he promised, which has been a real let-down for otherwise devoted supporters.

  28. Boys mamma (verified owner)

    Good book…interesting and have started to incorporated in my daily meals

  29. Just a guy (verified owner)

    After the sugar industry paid-off Harvard scientists to lie about the dangers of fat in deference to sugar (see New England Journal of Medicine-JAMA Intern Med. 2016; 176(11):1680-1685. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.539 & 1967), the low-fat American diet has led to detrimental effects on a generation of peoples’ health–specifically to the brain.

    The 3-pound organ is 60% fat and consumes ~20% of our total daily energy expenditure.
    As information about brain health increases, along with fears of Alzheimer’s disease & dementia, it’s important to get accurate information about how to keep the brain healthy & operating efficiently so we can be happy & productive.

    Genius Foods is a highly cited book, easy to understand, & contains current research to support the intake & eating of specific foods found to be beneficial to the brain.

    I’ll resist spoiling the book by giving-away the 10 Genius Foods featured in Lugavere’s text.
    What I found valuable besides just the “what”, was also the “how” and “why”.
    Additionally, the last two Chapters– 11: The Genius Plan & Chapter 12: Recipes & Supplements, were appreciated as a great way to close the book.

    We might all agree that simply eating the right foods won’t make you a genius.
    And, for young & old alike, the growing understanding of the critical role of nutrition & exercise for a healthy cognitive future is clear, making this is book an essential read to add to that understanding.

  30. kds27 (verified owner)

    The author gives guidance to support evidence of proper foods choices. I keep recommendations in mind when I do my weekly shopping.

  31. Michael Hooper (verified owner)


  32. Jentoo (verified owner)

    Very well researched using a large variety of valid studies. I also like that it addresses not only the foods to eat and not to eat, but lifestyle choices that will improve our brains, health, and life quality. It is an effectively organized book.

    I not only bought the book but listened to it as well using my local library book audio app. The author reads clearly and is entertaining, making it an easy listen.

    I have been suggesting this book to everyone I care about who is looking to avoid dementia or Alzheimers, who wants to feel better or lose some pounds, or who wants to think and work more quickly. It is an excellent guide for all those things and more.

  33. bkm (verified owner)


  34. David Sugnet (verified owner)


  35. S. Mohr (verified owner)

    Like many books on health that I have purchased, this has wonderful info, but at the same time, this one scares the dickens out of you! Not to be overwhelmed, I have tried to focus on small steps in creating a healthier lifestyle, and realize that a refresher course is needed every few months. It’s easy to fall off the wagon food-wise, so, I go back and scan a few chapters to renew my resolve. I would highly recommend “Genius Foods” to anyone who wants to improve their health and the health of their family. My physical aging is worrisome enough for me and my family to deal with , so I definitely want spare us all having to deal with cognitive decline! This book provides needed info to do just that.

  36. Christopher A (verified owner)

    Im happy with this book, some what technical. Wish there were more examples.

  37. MaryEdith (verified owner)

    Good read but nothing new

  38. david l. erwin (verified owner)

    Yes, the book can get a little deep in the weeds. But he gives you a break with some humor and even some touching anecdotes as well. The information in this book should be taught in schools. That’s how strongly I feel about it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get my mother to try anything I have learned. But I have completely changed my diet. I feel sharper, more aware, more awake, more energize, and simply “better”. I went through the audio version several times and then bought this version so I could put tabs on pages, highlight passages, and make notes in margins.

    Side note: Several reviewers have bemoaned Max’s mention of his web presence a lot in the book. If everything on his web sites were included in this book, it would weigh 50 pounds. It just makes sense to direct us toward other resources he manages to get even more info to help us along our journey. If he makes a buck or two off of that, great! The info in this book is worth much more than the price anyway.

    Two weeks in, you won’t miss any of the foods that have been harming your body and brain. Go for it.

  39. Margaret Mazanec (verified owner)

    Good technical read. A little more detail than needed

    Not bad for overall view – summarized – eliminate added sugar/carbs, eat more dark green veggies and grass fed meats and move more

  40. Kumby (verified owner)

    I’ve read many books with similar information but enjoyed reviewing the vocabulary. I read the book for inspiration to continue the good health habits I’ve developed over the last few years . It worked. I made a salad.

  41. Yelena Malysheva (verified owner)

    It has a bit too many slogans for me.

  42. Ashbash (verified owner)

    I work in the medical field and am skeptical when reading/listening to health books. I was impressed with the information in this book, how it was written, and included medical supporting references from the co-author who is a Medical Doctor. It is an informative and entertaining book. I recommend it to anyone wanting to take the next step up in their health. I bought the audiobook, then bought the hard copy because I wanted to jot notes down. I’ve listened to it 5 times now and still find it informative.

  43. The Atheist Hindu (verified owner)

    Critical thinkers acknowledge there are far too many nutritional fads and fallacies in the marketplace today. Chief among them are when a product is for sale, or when the purveyor of a product or fad promises to let you in on a “secret” or something which is “hidden” or entices with claims of “they don’t want you to know” about a life-changing fantasy — all for the low, low price of $______.

    Chief among the dozens of credulous ideas accepted by our semi-scientifically illiterate public is the “alternative medicine” and similar crazes when it comes to diet and nutrition. When looking at the cover of Max Lugavere’s “Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life” (with Paul Grewal, MD), we could hopefully be forgiven for thinking this tome was chock full of “woo”, a.k.a. “bunk”. But since science and proper scientific inquiry qualifies and corrects itself, the use of precise wording regarding several scientific studies here provides a refreshing look at health and nutrition.

    Throughout the 389 pages of this book, I found several mentions of “science is not settled” about something where Lugavere was unwilling to make foundational claims, and he even places multiple qualifications about the progress of some medical studies into areas touched in the book. He points out the strength of the science he attests to hold to in the introduction with “Science is always unfinished business; it’s a method of finding things out, not an infallible measure of truth.”

    That is one of the foundational strengths of this book.

    His mother, falling into a state of Alzheimer’s/dementia, gave him impetus to worked for years with dozens of medical professionals to put together a book about brain health, because – as he points out throughout this book – brain health is health.

    Nearly everyone who would benefit from this book has several questions, including:

    — Why do modern diets have “plentiful calories with poor nutrient content and toxic additives”?
    — What are the differences between ‘executive function’ and ‘processing speed’ for mental health?
    — Why the following: “…it’s not the amount of fat you consume; it’s the type”?
    — Why are canola, corn and soybean oils bad news for health and brain health?
    — What is the most powerful way to boost neuroprotective hormones, and which food and dietary/life styles work symbiotically to keep you healthier?
    — Why is high fructose corn syrup so dangerous?

    Throughout, Lugavere does us a favor in the ways he provides verbiage that creates visual myriad complex processes in the body as it absorbs and breaks down ingested food and uses it at the cellular and molecular level. He works hard to make the reader understand why something is as it is, and to this he does so with near perfection, suffering us with just a few odd metaphors and similes.

    In several instances, he discusses in detail a scientific study from such medically peer-reviewed sources as ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, ‘Endocrine-Related Cancer’, ‘Neurotherapeutics’, ‘Behavioral Pharmacology’, ‘Journal of Nutrition’, ‘Nature’, ‘Science’, and ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’, among dozens more. It is clear from the numerous references that Max did his homework. While telling you why something is the way it is, or why a certain chemical does what it does, his attempts to also explain “how” lead to one of the few criticisms in reviews; that it is too technical. IMHO, let me tell those critics that nearly every semi-complex component to the understandings in this book are explained elsewhere in the book, and the index can verify this. Also, has anyone heard of a dictionary or Google? I had only one word I had to look up, and if my patience allowed a few more pages, that search would not have been needed.

    Another criticism of the book is one I’ll agree with. Throughout, he discusses an endless plethora of dietary components, and when it comes to the recipe section, there are only 11 entries. An expansion of cross-references would have been helpful, also.

    When it comes down to it, I’ll mark this one with a strong 4.5 out of 5, as probably the most informative and engaging book on diet/lifestyle/nutrition I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. And now it’s time for me to order his follow up book “The Genius Life: Heal your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary”. If it’s as good, it also will prove to be a guide to using the idea of protecting the health of the brain as a way to provide overall health, with sensible and accessible information we can all benefit from knowing.

  44. Lisa K Perry (verified owner)

    Wish I could have had this book many years ago. It is plain (to me) language that has helped me to totally rethink what I have done to myself for 60 years. As this new year is about getting healthy in ALL aspects of my life, this is the perfect source for the physical aspect.

    I rarely read straight through a book, but have done so here. You will not be able to look at food in the same way, which is a VERY good thing!

  45. Soul searcher (verified owner)

    No complaints. Book arrived in good condition. Too soon to say what I thought of contents as much material to read and evaluate do soon.
    What I have read so far is informative. I already eat a healthy diet but always good to be open to new information.

  46. Joseph A. Schrock (verified owner)

    I regard this book as the best resource I’ve found for beneficial information concerning dieting and other health matters.

    The book led me to make various changes in my eating, drinking, and other lifestyles. Information on how best to conduct one’s dietary habits is always undergoing modification as new knowledge is acquired by doctors, nutritionists, and scientific researchers. However, with the current state of scientific information regarding healthful living, this book provides tremendously important relevant information. I even began eating, on a daily basis, some of the “genius foods” listed in the book – including dark chocolate and avocados.

    I give Max Lugavere’s book high marks regarding beneficial input on how best to avert, or delay as much as possible, cognitive declines with advancing age.

  47. Neha B (verified owner)

    I have read a lot of health, nutrition and wellness books in the past year but this is one of my favorites. Genius foods is an excellent resource for understanding how to lower Alzheimer’s risk and improving brain health. But more than that is a great resource for understanding overall health and nutrition, and the interplay between the two. Max has an engaging, easy to read style making some of the detailed science in the book easier to understand and digest. This book is highly detailed and covers so many key concepts which are important in understanding how the body works and the relevance of how the food you eat can add or detract to your overall and long term health. I refer back to my Genius Foods notes frequently (which are over 8,000 words) because it covers so many important concepts and helps me further my understanding. The book does some deep dives but is written without being overly complex, nor does it try to oversimplify things. Although it’s technically a brain/ Alzheimer’s book it serves as my go to reference.

  48. Rose (verified owner)

    good information, explained in ways I had not seen before. The “attitude” was a bit much for me though.

  49. Paula (verified owner)

    Because I eat low carb and do IF, I already knew some of the content, but it was great to reinforce my food choices. I also came away with ideas of other nutrients I could incorporate into my diet to improve overall and brain health. Most astonishing was reading that the OTC allergy pill I have been taking for years could be adversely affecting my brain😯

  50. Lina (verified owner)

    This book is a good intro forgetting deeper into nutrition and how to personalize your diet according to your needs, specially if you’re prioritizing your hormonal + brain function. Very informative!

  51. Beth z (verified owner)

    The seller was great! Prompt, on time, as promised!
    I am enjoying reading this very informative book. I think it will be very healthful for me in my future.

  52. DR_CJK (verified owner)

    The book is clearly written which makes for effective understanding. I hope that it will be equally helpful for all the guidance it gives in rescuing and preserving a very precious life–my wife’s.

  53. Richard Francis (verified owner)

    My book arrived in great condition. I was very pleased.

  54. Cathy S. (verified owner)

    Max has done all the research so you don’t have to. So much much practical information but easy to read and process. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone and now listen to his podcast as well.

  55. Debra H. (verified owner)

    Excellent content. Very helpful!

  56. Adam Gleason (verified owner)

    I really appreciate the unique perspective this author takes on nutrition as it relates to brain health. We often make choices based on weight reduction or muscle increase but we fail to take into account the brain. As someone who works at a desk, this approach particularly hit home as my brain is my money making asset. I would recommend this read for sure!

  57. Mistie Busa (verified owner)

    This was life changing for my family and I. This has become a book I have referenced and gone back to multiple times. I recommend this book to everyone!

  58. Sandi Sams (verified owner)

    I loved all the detail & information on all the great foods to eat & what to avoid.

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