Researchers from Imperial College London, chef Jozef Youssef and Vodafone Foundation have teamed up to launch a new cookbook, HYPERFOODS, incorporating ingredients identified in scientific research as having disease-beating properties. The book gives readers the opportunity to create tasty meals with tailored health benefits.

The recipes are based on findings from Imperial College’s DRUGS research project, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to identify disease-beating molecules in everyday foods.  These included those found in carrots, celery, oranges, grapes, coriander, cabbage, turmeric and dill.

The project was powered by DreamLab, an award-winning app developed by the Vodafone Foundation. The app uses the processing power of tens of thousands of smartphones being charged overnight to create a ‘virtual supercomputer’ to crunch data at lightning speed and hasten scientific research.

Dr Kirill Veselkov, lead computational scientist at Imperial College London, said: “We are seeing a continuous growth in chronic conditions, such as cancer, neurological diseases and heart disorders. A key contributing factor is poor diet; studies suggest that unhealthy diets are responsible for a fifth of deaths globally and it’s estimated that almost half of all cancers could be prevented by good dietary and lifestyle choices.

“The fact that our research was powered by the Vodafone Foundation’s DreamLab app enabled the public to get involved and help speed it up, which has been fantastic.”

Helen Lamprell, Vodafone Foundation Trustee and General Counsel & External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “Technologies such as AI have the potential to create a smarter healthcare system and improve outcomes for patients.

“We are hugely proud that DreamLab has played such an important role in Imperial’s research project and in the development of this collection of recipes. And DreamLab continues to power research at Imperial College London – so please download the app and activate it whenever you charge your phone.”

Kitchen Theory chef Jozef Youssef said: “This seminal research – and subsequent recipes – are an important step in understanding how we can choose – and cook – food more intelligently to improve our health. The recipes in this book were created to show people how to use the disease-beating ingredients to create healthy and delicious dishes and drinks. I hope people will be inspired to create their own!”

Dr Michael Bronstein, Head of Graph Learning Research, Imperial College London, said: “HYPERFOODS is a UK first. By modelling interactions between food-based molecules and bio-molecules in our body, we can identify which ingredients might work in a similar way to medical drugs and therefore have the potential to prevent or beat diseases.

“Our ambition is to provide a quantum leap in how our food is ‘prescribed’, designed and prepared – and this is a great first step.”

As well as continuing to power cancer research, the DreamLab app is also supporting Imperial College London research into whether foods and pre-existing drug combinations can be used to treat COVID-19. The DreamLab app can be downloaded for free on the App Store or Google Play Store.  Please remember to activate it whenever you charge your phone!

Terms and conditions

A compatible handset is required to download and use DreamLab. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone Australia customers on the Vodafone Australia network. Roaming incurs international rates.

For the DreamLab privacy statement, please see the DreamLab Privacy page.

For the full list of end user terms and conditions please visit our DreamLab User Terms page.

By downloading, installing or otherwise using the DreamLab application on your Device, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms, you should not download, install or otherwise use DreamLab Application.

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