Turmeric Fights Memory Loss
Adding just one gram of turmeric to food at breakfast could help prevent memory loss among people at risk for cognitive impairment due to the early stages of diabetes. One gram of the yellow spice, turmeric, is equal to about one-eighth teaspoon. Turmeric is one of several Asian spices that have been getting lots of attention from cancer researchers and other health scientists. They’re intrigued by the spice’s many beneficial properties.
Familiar to most westerners as the foundational ingredient in most curry spice mixtures, bright yellow turmeric comes from a root that has been revered throughout India and the ancient world for thousands of years. Modern researchers are impressed by turmeric’s mixture of potent antioxidant compounds, collectively called curcumin.
The latest research showed that adding just an eighth of a teaspoon of the dried, ground spice to breakfast food significantly reduced the likelihood that subjects would develop signs of early cognitive decline, including memory problems. Subjects were at risk due to the early stages of type 2 diabetes.
Though not especially surprising, considering the vast amounts of research that have previously shown various health benefits from consuming turmeric, it’s surprising that these noticeable effects were achieved using such a small amount of the spice each day. Clearly, adding just one-eighth teaspoon to one’s food each day should pose no challenge for most cooks. This study demonstrated, once again, that herbs and spices are among nature’s most potent health foods.
Meei-Shyuan Lee, Mark L Wahlqvist, Yu-Ching Chou, Wen-Hui Fang, Jiunn-Tay Lee, Jen-Chun Kuan, Hsiao-Yu Liu, Ting-Mei Lu, Lili Xiu, Chih-Cheng Hsu, Zane B Andrews, Wen-Harn Pan. Turmeric improves post-prandial working memory in pre-diabetes independent of insulin. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr., 2014;23 DOI: 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.24