Maggie Beer is on a mission to stop the biggest killer of women in the Australia, Alzheimer’s disease, by cooking up a fresh batch of recipes using food that’s scientifically proven to be good for the brain.
“Every green you can imagine is great for the brain, every coloured vegetable, the purples, the oranges, the reds… They just have that extra edge to them,” Maggie told reporter Alex Cullen in an interview for Sunday Night.
Maggie has co-written Maggies Recipes for Life with one of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s researchers, Professor Ralph Martins.
“The foods that we look at are those in the Mediterranean diet, those are the foods one needs to follow,” Professor Martins said.
“Probably more important ones are the fruits and vegetables and within them are cabbage, kale, parsley, and fruit such as pomegranates and spices such as turmeric."
All the foods in Maggie’s Recipes for Life are packed with anti-oxidants; molecules that protect brain cells from breaking down.
But while the ingredients are proven to be powerful brain food, Maggie stresses that they are not a complete cure for Alzheimer’s.
“It’s to help protect our brains and Ralph’s science says all of that,” she said.
“These are recipes for life, this is for every age. This isn’t a health book, it’s a life book.”
KEY COMPONENTS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
- Plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts)
- Eating fish or other seafood at least twice a week and poultry or eggs occasionally too
- Having a moderate amount of cheese and yoghurt
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
- Using extra virgin olive oil as the main fat, instead of butter or other oils
- Using herbs and spices rather than salt for flavor
- Drinking red wine with meals, in moderation
- Barbecued lemon myrtle prawns with sorrel mayonnaise
- Buckwheat crepes with roasted rhubarb and cinnamon yoghurt
- Chocolate cloud cake with nut cream and rose petals
- Sweet potato fritters with smashed avocado and salmon
- Tri-colour roasted beetroot salad with thyme, walnut, goat’s cheese and herb salad
- Turmeric, soy and ginger chicken
Extracted from Maggie’s Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP AU$39.99 or NZ$45.00. Photography © Dragan Radocaj