We put a lot of thought into what we eat, but does your brain health factor into your diet? With dementia on the rise in the U.S. and Alzheimer’s disease now the sixth-leading cause of death, you may want to tweak your diet to be more brain health-centric. And these are the spices and herbs to add to your spice rack because they can help boost brain health.
- Turmeric – There’s evidence that rates of Alzheimer’s disease are lower in some parts of the world than others and one hypothesis is that spicy food – especially curry, which is made with turmeric – contributes to the decreased risk. One study backs that up, finding that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, improved memory in adults by 28% over 18 months.
- Saffron – This spice is rich in antioxidants and another study shows it was as effective as the Alzheimer’s drug Memantine after one year of use.
- Rosemary – Not only is it tasty, this herb has been shown to improve memory in older adults and it’s also been found to protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
- Sage – Also used for its brain benefits, this herb has been found to improve learning and cognition in older adults with mild to moderate Alzheimers, and improve memory in healthy individuals.
- Cinnamon – An extract made from cinnamon helped protect lab rats from cognitive impairment in one study and it may also have neuroprotective benefits for Parkinson’s patients.
- Nutmeg – Research suggests a nutrient found in this spice may help improve cognition and memory.
- Ginger – Along with aiding digestion and fighting inflammation, ginger has been found to be useful in treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Pepper – We use it all the time and it’s a good thing because regular old pepper has been shown to improve memory deficit.
Source: Well and Good