Reviews by Professionals

Brain Health for Life fills a critical gap. It is a well-researched guide to nutrition and its crucial role in promoting not only physical health but mental health as well. Dr. Unger is already well known in the psychiatric field for her pioneering work in creating and evaluating supported education for persons with mental health challenges. With this book, she has extended her considerable skills to a careful review and evaluation of the crucial topic of brain health. And Dr. Unger has written it in a style that will hit home to everyone who has an interest in improving his/her life. As a bonus, it will be of great value to those behavioral and physical health specialists who are working in the emerging area of integrated healthcare systems where this information is currently missing from discussions and planning efforts across the US. This book will be an invaluable addition to any home or professional library.

—Bob Nikkel, MSW, Board Member of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

 In Brain Health For Life, Karen Unger has created a comprehensive resource for people who want to take charge of their brain’s health and keep their minds sharp as they age. Combining cutting-edge science with common sense, the author debunks damaging myths rooted in politics and profit, and clearly explain what you need to be doing to protect your brain—starting today! There is detailed and well-researched information on the brain-gut link, the importance of fats, water, and salt, sleep and exercise, and so much more, all vital if you want your brain to function optimally. You could spend days, or more likely weeks, surfing medical, alternative health, and nutrition sites, and double-checking the studies–or you could pick up a copy of Dr. Unger’s book.

 —Richard and C.R. Zwolinski, Authors of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On and the Therapy Soup blog at

Karen Unger’s book Brain Health for Life is a welcome new work that provides a roadmap for optimal functioning and vibrant health. Her well-researched presentation of the latest scientific evidence and the clarity of her directly accessible language gives a wealth of information useful for both clinicians and the general public. She concisely gives readers knowledge they can use daily to create and maintain health, along with tools to fully flourish in body, mind and spirit.

—Michael Berletich, Associate Professor and Clinical Supervisor at The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine

In Brain Health for Life: Beyond Pills, Politics, and Popular Diets, Dr. Karen Unger offers readers of all ages and backgrounds a great gift. Her book is straightforward, easy-to-read, and thoroughly comprehensive. As a mental health writer and nationally certified counselor who lives with mental illness and has sustained a traumatic brain injury, I find Unger’s work exciting. Readers will gain insight into things that are hurting brain function and may be contributing to brain decline, and, perhaps even more important, will learn practical, user-friendly strategies for taking care of and strengthening their brain for a long and vibrant life.

 —Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC; author of Leave of Absence and My Life in a Nutshell

Dr. Unger researches and recounts the advent of agricultural advancement that has altered the political landscape from family farms to industrial feeding, and our dinner plates from whole foods nutrition to corporate profit opportunity. She elucidates key nutritional components for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Her advice is well researched and it is a concise resource for those looking to thwart cognitive decline and the numerous health challenges most Americans face today as a result of a nutritionally devoid diet. Her finer points on the care and keeping of the gut as the key to health and happiness are only upstaged by the final and most imperative aspect of all health, love as the supreme emotion!

Dr. Kate Wiggin, Licensed Naturopathic Physician

For even the most conscientious among us finding accurate information on maintaining and improving our health can be quite a challenge.  Competing interests both in business and government have consorted to mystify this most important topic.  Dr. Unger, cleverly and concisely, provides us with an important and practical guide through which we can proactively take charge of our own brain health and live longer more enhanced lives.

—Dr. Anthony J. Newkirk, DMD, RPH

As a Personal Trainer I strive to teach my clients the importance of nutritional fitness in addition to physical fitness. This book is a must read for people of all ages as they navigate their way to a healthy life in preparation for the senior years. Dr. Unger has written a straightforward book that covers all aspects of brain health including nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle choices. I will recommend Brain Health for Life to my clients as well as my friends and relatives.

—Joy Fitzpatrick Quinn, Master Trainer

Athletes you need this book, so do your friends and families. As a 35-year Master’s swimmer, former Master’s and collegiate coach and one-time triathlete who has always been concerned with maintaining fitness, mental acuity and flexibility, I can say this is the first book to present exceedingly well researched, clear and thorough information and recommendations to athletes for brain and body health. In just 8 weeks, following the nutritional concepts provided in Brain Health for Life, I’ve improved my recent swim workout times by 5%, lost 8 pounds and regained hope for a lifetime of sensible training and competition. Walkers, cyclists, runners, swimmers, kayakers, b-ball players, dancers and every other adult who wants to get to and maintain optimal health, or their top competitive performance, needs the information in this book.
            Brain Health for Life gets rid of the myths of high carbohydrate and low fat diets, reinforces the importance of stress reduction and lays out the metabolic pathways from food intake to brain health. Dr. Unger shows how the health of the body is synchronous with the heath of the brain.  She demonstrates what all athletes know in their bones about developing and maintaining long term fitness: that optimizing and balancing all biological and mental systems is key. The details, the references, the recommendations in Brain Health for Life make sense for aspiring and accomplished athletes. I’m into my second reading of Dr. Unger’s book. I expect it to be my essential desk reference for long-term physical and mental health.

—Robert A. Maestre, Masters Swimmer