(NaturalHealth365) If you love Indian or Thai food flavored with curry, you’re in ‘luck.’ In addition to being delicious, these foods have real health benefits. Backed by science: UCLA researchers say that curcumin (found in the spice turmeric) can lower the risk of depression and improve your memory.
The research conducted was a placebo-controlled double-blind study of 40 adults aged 50 to 90 years. All had complained of mild memory issues and some reported issues with depression. The participants were randomly assigned either 90 mg of curcumin twice daily or a placebo for 18 months.
The results? The participants who took curcumin experienced ‘significant improvement in their memory and attention ability’ – while the placebo group saw no improvement. (details below)
Happy NEWS: Curcumin better than Prozac against depression
These results are extremely exciting for those suffering from age-related memory decline, mood issues or depression. Curcumin supplements are easily absorbed and have few if any side effects.
This natural remedy clearly holds great promise for anyone prone to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as well.
One of the markers of these brain diseases is the buildup of microscopic plaques and issues with tau and amyloid. Curcumin could help to slow or prevent this deterioration. The research results were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
In cultures such as India where the spice turmeric is eaten almost daily, incidents of dementia are much lower than average. And, yes, curcumin is already known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and many studies about depression have found curcumin to be at least as effective as Prozac against the mood disorder.
Curcumin found to reduce risk factors linked to Alzheimer’s disease
All of the subjects received standardized cognitive assessments both at the study’s outset and at six-month intervals. Curcumin levels in their blood were monitored at the beginning and end of the study period. Three-fourths of the volunteers received PET scans to assess their brain levels of tau and amyloid, which are indicators of cognitive decline.
Those taking curcumin underwent marked improvements in attention, focus and memory, while those taking the placebo did not. The curcumin users’ memory also improved by 28 percent over the study period.
Mood was enhanced and depression symptoms reduced or eliminated. PET scans showed far less tau and amyloid in their brains. These improvements were especially noteworthy in the amygdala and hypothalamus areas of the brain, which help conduct memory and emotional functioning.
Dishes seasoned with turmeric a delicious way to get more curcumin, improve memory and fight depression
Curcumin is safe, affordable and generally easy to digest. Some who take it report mild side effects such as slight nausea and digestive issues; however this can often be resolved by reducing the dosage. While 500 mg twice daily is often recommended for those suffering from depression, memory benefits were enjoyed in the study referenced above by taking just 90 mg twice per day.
While supplement form is the easiest and most convenient way to take curcumin, the most delicious way is through dishes seasoned with turmeric. If you love curried food, consider adding them to your lunch and dinner menus more often.
Sources for the article include:
Food & Nutrition
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