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  • Writer's pictureDr. Sarah Moore

Book Review: Brain Changer by Professor Felice Jacka

1. What the book is about

This book is an evidence-based, easily digestible and practical guide to adapting your diet to improve your mood and brain health. Professor Felice Jacka is a researcher who has dedicated her life to studying how diet affects our mental health. She has written this book to share the findings of multiple published high-quality studies with the aim of educating health practitioners and the public about the vital role that nutrition plays in optimising mental health and wellbeing. This book also highlights the threat that “Big Food” poses to public health if governments continue to fail to regulate the food industry.

2. What I liked about this book

I like that this book provides the reader with years of scientific research that has been conducted around the world examining the impact of diet on our brain health that is easy to read and understand. I like how the author, Felice Jacka, reflects on her own personal and family stories and experiences as motivation for her research. I love the recipes and meal plans that are included at the back of the book, many of which I have tried and enjoyed eating. I also really appreciate how Prof Jacka calls out Big Food as one of the largest threats to the human health, and the inaction by governments as one of the biggest factors perpetuating this threat.

3. Who should read this book?

As with many of the books I read and review, this is a book that anyone can read and learn from. Depression, anxiety and other psychiatric illnesses are on the increase around the world, and if you yourself are not affected by it, you will likely have a family member or friend who is. This is a book that offers information and practical advice that can empower you to take simple steps to change your diet and improve your mental health. I will be recommending this book to my medical students, health practitioner colleagues and any patient who is experiencing low mood and anxiety.

4. Other work by Professor Felice Jacka

Professor Felice Jacka is Director of the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University. She has been responsible for the development of a highly innovative field of research establishing the link between diet, nutrition and common mental disorders. The results of her studies have led to her being widely recognised as international leader in field of Nutritional Psychiatry research.

Professor Jacka’s current research focuses on the links between diet, gut health, and mental and brain health. Her aim is to develop new, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for mental disorders. Professor Jacka has published more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific papers, the majority in high-impact journals in the mental health field including the American Journal of Psychiatry, World Psychiatry, BMC Medicine and Lancet Psychiatry.

To read more about her work, I encourage you to visit The Food and Mood Centre website.

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