With an aging population, more and more people are becoming aware of the problem of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and are wondering what they can do to reduce their chances of developing this kind of cognitive disease. A healthy lifestyle and exercise can help to reduce the risk, but so can a number of spices that are probably already on your kitchen shelf. 10 of the spices that have been shown to help with memory and general cognitive health are discussed below.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. In many studies, it has been shown to reduce the build-up of plaque in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, most likely due to its powerful antioxidant properties.
This herb also has powerful antioxidant properties and can prevent free radical damage done to the brain during the aging process. It has also been shown to help with learning and concentration, mood, anxiety and sleep.
The oils in this herb are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which protect again cognitive decline related to aging and can also improve the mind’s capacity for memory and for learning. It also contains DHA, which has been linked to improved brain function.
Rosemary supports brain health through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce free radical damage to the brain. It is particularly good at reducing the chance of developing a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s or of having a stroke.
Sage’s antioxidants also help prevent free radical damage to the neural tissues and has been shown to boost overall cognitive function and memory recall. It also contains a compound which has been shown to prevent the breakdown of essential neurotransmitters.
This pungent spice contains a compound called piperine that increases brain activity and is able to boost overall cognitive function. It also helps prevent the breakdown of serotonin and has been proven helpful in treatment of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s.
Recent research has shown that cinnamon has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease by stabilizing the microtubules in the brain: when these microtubules become defective, they can be a causative factor in the development of dementia.
Nutmeg contains myristicin, a compound which has been shown to improve memory and overall brain activity and to also inhibit a particular enzyme which has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cloves also have powerful antioxidant properties to reduce free radical damage to the brain and they act as a mental stimulant and improve attention and mental alertness.
This herb can boost brain function by improving circulation and blood flow to the brain and has also been shown to help improve cognitive skills like memory and concentration. In addition, it can also improve the body’s response to stress.
So if you are concerned about maintaining good cognitive function, consider using or increasing these spices in your diet. Many can be added easily to salads, soups, casseroles and other dishes or drunk as teas and can greatly improve your cognitive skills and support healthy brain function no matter what your age.
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