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Save Your Brain: The 5 Things You Must Do to Keep Your Mind Young and Sharp Paperback – April 9, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul David Nussbaum is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in aging across the lifespan and brain health. He lectures nationally and internationally on the human brain, brain-behavior relations, diseases of the brain, and brain health promotion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007171376X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071713764
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sometimes when a new book arrives - I cannot wait to read it. Save Your Brain - 5 things you must do to keep your mind young and sharp by Paul David Nussbaum is just such a book. For some reason, I am attracted to books on keeping the mind sharp. For example, I loved Making a Good Brain Great and Brain Rules.

I was interested to read in the Globe and Mail that people with advanced Parkinsons cannot walk but can ride a bicycle. The brain is interesting.

The book starts with a survey to see how good you are on brain stuff. It includes questions on exercise, diet etc. I was surprised I scored "poor". Perhaps that is partly because I am a tough self grader but partly because the questions did not allow me to use alternatives that I do that are likely comparable. EG - dancing once per week (which I do not do) is surely comparable to martial arts.

Of course it has a technical section on how the brain works and what it is. And part convincing me that I need to work on saving my brain.

The 5 things to do to Save Your Brain:

1 - Socialize. Basic human interaction.
2 - Exercise. 25% of the blood circulation goes to support the brain.
3 - Mental Stimulation. Use it or lose it. Learn something new always. Challenge yourself.
4 - Spirituality. He includes "mental rest" in this category.
5 - Nutrition. The obvious - eat like your mom told you to and use supplements if you cannot. He is also a big advocate of fish oil.

These are all obvious and not new. He did not emphasize the things not to do (like drugs, alcohol and boxing). It was a good reminder of things I already knew.
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Format: Paperback
"Another way to stimulate your mind is to read and write on a daily basis, which is great brain exercises." ~ pg. 114

Paul David Nussbaum wrote "Save Your Brain" to encourage readers to follow a proactive lifestyle. He provides a basic overview of how the brain works and then delves into five main areas that need attention if you want to preserve brain health. These include: Socialization, physical activity, mental stimulation, spirituality (not religion) and nutrition.

If you are worried about neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's then you may be interested in this book. "Save Your Brain" will also appeal to those who are curious. It was interesting to learn that daily prayer can enhance the immune system and that infants can learn sign language. Knitting can also help to reduce the risk of dementia.

As a bonus the author has included a few of his favorite recipes. You may enjoy trying:

Tomato Soup with Basil
Hummus
Chicken with Mango Salsa
Salmon Burgers

For the most part, this book is easy to understand and the information is easy to apply to your life. There is also a list of foods you may want to include in your diet that promote brain health.

~The Rebecca Review
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a busy mother of two I was thrilled to read this book. For me it was one stop shopping. This book describes the latest on brain health and development, the critical lifestyle areas (spirituality, nutrition, socilization, physical activity) , how and why you should impliment these into your life as well as great brain tips throughout the book.. (example tip.. Try to take a trip this year to a new surrounding and enjoy the brain health benifit) Still working on that tip with my husband:)
The book also explains nutrition and how food is related to brain health. In the back of the book Dr. Nussbaum includes great recipes.I have not tried them all yet but the blueberry crips (pg 183)are a big hit with my girls..
We have adopted a lot of the lifestyle changes already such as;
family game nights, taking walks, eating better, yoga and breathing exercises (to calm the body).
Simply put this book is a must read for anyone that is wanting a healthy brain and a much more fulfilling life!!

P.S.I even allowed my 7 year old to teach me how to play chess.. (She thought that was so funny!!)
Bring on the brain reserve!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nussbaum’s book offers certain prescriptions for helping one to see that one’s brain can retain plasticity as we grow older. The brain does not have to atrophy, as once was the common thinking. I found the book helpful for a number of reasons. One, the author distills some complex information into something we can all understand. Two, for each of the five things we must do, he offers simple but effective ways to increase our brain power as we age.

Nussbaum’s develops five critical areas: 1) Socialization 2) Physical Activity 3) Mental Stimulation 4) Spirituality and 5) Nutrition. He then tells how each one of these concepts is important and what we need to do to optimize each area. For example, he makes it clear under nutrition that the brain must have certain fats to thrive, and not the kind that comes from chips and fries. Under spirituality, he makes the case that regular meditation, prayer, or other types of mental rest and reflection help the brain to take a break from its rigors.

I wish I’d had this book when I was in my thirties; I might be much smarter now. Kidding. But I do think, from what Nussbaum says, that it’s never too late. One of his most important points is that taking care of the brain helps to build a mental reserve, which helps to fight off or delay dementia. Each one of the five areas is important and works in conjunction with the others. If you’re curious about how your brain works or how to stave off old age, this book may be a good place to begin.

One other point Nussbaum makes repeatedly is that we must continue to learn things that are “novel and complex” for us. For me, I ought to learn sign language because I’ve never done anything like that before. For others, it might be trying to learn a complex camera or studying a musical instrument. The task must be novel and complex for the individual. Take up knitting if you’re normally all thumbs!
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