- Mental Health
Turmeric Spice For Senior Citizen Brain Health
I like having a Healthy brain. Who doesn’t? Supporting brain health is like voting for motherhood and apple pie – one can’t go wrong. Usually the wicket gets sticky when deciding how best to accomplish the support.
If I daily ate everything that the current medical professionals recommend to prevent this or to support that, I would be plumper than the Goodyear Blimp. If I chose, instead, to take all these purported goodies in supplement form, I would be in the poorhouse. (Also, I would probably develop an aversion to pill swallowing!)
Therefore, I need to make judicious selections from all the data being thrust into the popular news stream.
Turmeric and Curcumin
One nutrient which captivates me is turmeric for prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Andrew Weil, M.D. posted an article in December 2010 citing the many health benefits of turmeric and its chief active component, curcumin. The list is impressive. His article includes the statement,
“ Epidemiologists have hypothesized that the turmeric that is part of daily curries eaten in India may help explain the low rate of Alzheimer's disease in that country. Among people aged 70 to 79, the rate is less than one-quarter that of the United States.”
Later in this article, he also summarizes research by scientists at the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. This research abstract includes “…Extensive research within the last half century has proven that most of these (therapeutic) activities, once associated with turmeric, are due to curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease [emphasis added]…”
A Physician WHo Practices Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Cha-CHING! Now he has my interest. Dr. Weil is a Harvard Medical School trained physician who embraces the joint and complementary application of mainstream and alternative medicine practices. In my book, this is a plus. However, Dr. Weil is a controversial person in some circles.
Using Grocery Store Turmeric Spice
As far as I know, no recommended daily amount of the spice has been established for Alzheimer’s prevention. What I do know, nonetheless, is that this is easy to work into my daily diet in tiny amounts. I figure that tiny beats none.
There are many recipes on the internet for turmeric teas, turmeric hot chocolate, and so forth for people who like the taste of it. Or, perhaps tolerate its flavor.
On the other hand, I find its taste to be VERY bad. To me, turmeric tastes like the dirty dust of dried cow dung swirling along the streets of Calcutta, landing on the food vendors’ wares and coating everything. EEEYYUCH! However, tasting bad does not mean it is bad for me. So, I developed my strategy.
I sprinkle just a smidgen on my plate before serving a hot casserole portion. Or, I put the same small amount in the bottom of my bowl before adding chili or soup. When I am feeling very brave, I put an infinitesimal amount on my oatmeal. My goal is to get a little into my body without forcing others in the family to ingest it against their will. By adding it only to my plate, I am the only one who may potentially suffer from its unique flavor.
Turmeric in my Soup
Go to the spice aisle of your grocery. Buy one of the small bottles. Perhaps you will enjoy the fragrance and taste and start eating a turmeric curry twice a day. For me, this system works well and may even have a placebo effect – which is also just grand.
Photos and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.