Bibliophile | Maggie Beer’s Recipes for Life

Maggie’s Recipe for Life
by Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins
Simon & Schuster

At the moment, there are more than 350,000 Australians living with Alzheimer’s and there is no cure. Although there’s no confirmed cause other than it often runs in families, the latest research is based on the hypothesis that symptoms are triggered by abnormal deposits of proteins in the brain and that 80% of people with Alzheimer’s also have some form of diabetes.

Alzheimer’s research Professor of Neurobiology at Macquarie University Ralph Martin has teamed up with well-known cook (and national treasure) Maggie Beer to create a collection of recipes that supply nutrients essential for optimal brain health. Martin explains the science of Alzheimer’s, how it affects the brain and how various foods can help or exacerbate the effects.

Amongst other gems, I now have a greater understanding of all the fats and oils thanks to a fantastic graph. The comprehensive explanation of the butter versus margarine debate is also very informative. I’ve been buying the olive oil margarine but evidently the processing alleviates any nutritional benefit of the minimal amount of olive oil used.

Maggie Beer was a Senior Australian of the Year for improving the health and nutrition of older Australians and she has always preached the use of seasonal produce. Her emphasis is on flavor and into seasons for each meal and the extra snacks section.

To get a feel of the recipes, I tried a goats cheese and spinach omelette with pepitas and cherry tomato salsa for breakfast; sweet potato fritters with smashed avocado and salmon for lunch and roast chook with broccoli tabbouleh and turmeric and buttermilk dressing for dinner … with orange, ginger and dark chocolate for dessert.

All medical advice suggests exercise, mental stimulation and a healthy diet, particularly as we age. Obviously, there are no guarantees but making use of the 200 recipes for freshly prepared healthy food that retains its goodness can’t do any harm. With food that tastes this good … you never know.

Lezly Herbert

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