Keep Your Brain Sharp with Spices

by Lois Etienne on March 7, 2011

in Alzheimer's and Dementia,Senior Health and Safety

Here’s a tasty thought: Kicking your food up a notch with spices could preserve brain function and keep your brain sharp and strong as you age. Get your aging brain back into shape – naturally!Washington State Senior Man Cooking

CINNAMON – A recent research study found that merely smelling cinnamon or chewing cinnamon-flavored gum actually enhanced multiple areas of brain processing and function; everything from memory to visual-motor speed to recognition to attention & focus.

GARLIC - Garlic can kill cells that cause glioblastoma, a brain cancer that is usually fatal, researchers in South Carolina have found. Garlic compounds produce reactive oxygen species in rapidly growing brain cancer cells, essentially gorging them to death with activation of multiple death cascades.

GINGER – can lesson or prevent a headache if you take it at the very beginning of a headache.

SAFFRON – works well for depression.  Saffron, a popular Middle Eastern spice, may be effective for treating mild to moderate depression, according to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2005;97:281–4).

TURMERIC – is a spice that lends curries their yellow tint. It can curb mental decline and even slow the effects of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In the brain, oxidation trips up communication between brain cells, impairing general functions such as memory.  Take about a tablespoon of curry a day, or 200 mg of curcumin, does the trick, says Dr. Sally Frautschy, associate professor of medicine at UCLA. “I eat curry at least 4 times a week,” she reports.

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