A Well-Seasoned Mind
NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SHOWS THESE FIVE SPICES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN
In India, where
people eat curry
almost every day,
disease rate is one-fourth the
U. S. rate. Now researchers think
they may know why. A University
of California, Los Angeles study
in mice showed that curcumin—
the active ingredient in turmeric,
which gives curry that distinctive
yellow color—broke up brain
plaques of amyloid beta, the
abnormal protein buildup that
is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Healthy way to dish it up For a
brain-boosting chicken salad,
toss 2 teaspoons curry powder
with 2 cups cubed chicken.
Sauté in olive oil until cooked,
then cool. Add raisins, diced
apples, chopped almonds,
chopped celery, and low-fat
yogurt, to taste.
GINGER A recent study found that more than 80 percent of migraine-prone patients with mild headaches who were treated with a combo of ginger and the herb feverfew staved off migraines.
After two hours, 48 percent were pain free; for
another 34 percent, the pain stayed mild. “If a
headache doesn’t go to full-blown migraine,
that’s success,” says Roger Cady, M. D., study author and director of the Headache Care Center
in Springfield, Missouri. Healthy way to dish it up
Stir 3 teaspoons grated ginger into 1 cup boiling
water; steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink.
GARLIC Long touted for its heart- healthy bene- fits, garlic
may also fight brain cancer.
A 2007 study in the journal
Cancer noted that garlic
compounds eliminated brain-cancer cells, leading some
experts to predict that garlic-based treatments for brain
cancer aren’t far behind.
Healthy way to dish it up
Mix ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic
with tomatoes and basil for a
Got a case of the blues?
Before popping an anti-
depressant, try eating more
of this pungent herb. A 2007
University of Tehran study
discovered that a twice-daily
dose of saffron works as well as
Prozac in treating mild to mod-
erate depression. Healthy way
to dish it up Add ½ teaspoon
saffron to the water while
cooking 2 cups rice.
If you want to react
faster during your
next tennis game,
chew cinnamon gum.
Doing so, a recent
study found, speeds
the rate at which your
brain processes visual
cues. One reason the
gum may help: cinnamon regulates blood-sugar levels, and this
helps you stay focused. Healthy way to
dish it up Sprinkle 1
on oatmeal for a brain-healthy breakfast.
—Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Most spices will last 6 to 12 months—if they’re stored properly. The
longer they sit in the cupboard, the more likely they will lose their health
benefits. So always store spices in glass jars, says Phil Lempert (aka the
Supermarket Guru)—and transfer those that come in plastic to glass.