Can turmeric prevent Alzheimer’s? The answer is yes, according to a wide range of studies investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of this ancient cooking spice.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurological disorder in which death of brain cells slowly destroy memory which eventually ruins a person’s cognitive skills. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and it is characterized by the progressive cognitive impairment. The symptoms first appear when a person reaches the age of 60 to 65.
A study conducted in 2006 showed that there were 26 million Alzheimer’s patients worldwide. This figure is supposed to quadruple by 2050 by which time 1 in 85 people will be suffering from this disease globally.
While the pharmaceutical companies are spending billions of dollars searching for an elixir, it turns out that an inexpensive spice used in everyday cooking in India and Southeast Asia is getting the job done.
Rural and urban populations in India have some of the lowest numbers of Alzheimer’s patients in the world. This might be due to their everyday diet where turmeric is being used extensively for many millennia.
Can turmeric prevent Alzheimer’s?
Turmeric, a traditional spice used in cooking and as medicinal herb in India and Southeast Asia for thousands of years has been the subject of endless scientific studies in recent years. A recent study conducted on Alzheimer’s patients showed that their conditions improved remarkably when they were given less than a gram of turmeric daily, for three months.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) statistics, conventional drug used to treat Alzheimer’s resulted in serious neurological harm as this drug class carried an alarmingly high risk of seizures.
General public therefore are depending more on natural therapies that rely on foods, spices and herbs.
Curcumin, the key active ingredient in turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties and in itself is a very powerful antioxidant. Lab studies have shown that curcumin has the capability of breaking beta-amyloid plaques which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another compound in turmeric that has been studied is tumerone. When tested on animals, tumerone has been shown to make new brain cells by stimulating stem cells. This process could in theory be helpful in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, these studies are in their very early stages, and not much is known whether this would affect human stem cells the same way.
A 2012 study published in the journal AYU described 3 patients with Alzheimer’s disease who experienced remarkable improvements in their behavioral symptoms after consuming 764 milligram of turmeric (100 mg per day) for 12 weeks.
According to the study, all 3 patients displayed signs of anxiety, irritability, agitation and apathy while, two of them suffered from urinary incontinence, as well as wonderings. Their conditions improved and they started recuperating from these symptoms without any negative reaction after they were prescribed turmeric powder capsules.
114 studies conducted by GreenMedInfo on turmeric indicated that it has a neuroprotective set of psychological actions. 30 of these studies were directly connected to anti-Alzheimer’s properties of curcumin.
Two of those studies turned out to be very promising which showed that curcumin is capable of improving the removal of beta-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s patients. A combination of curcumin and vitamin D3 further enhanced the neurorestorative process. Additional research indicated that curcumin has the protective and inhibitory effects against Alzheimer’s disease associated beta-amyloid proteins.
We should always remember that the risk of accelerated brain aging and dementia are influenced mainly by our diet and environmental exposures. Many therapeutic properties found in common spices and herbs can be used to prevent and treat this disease. Try to make it a habit of using spices like turmeric into your dietary pattern. To determine what a healthy dose is for you, add enough of it that suits your taste.
Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. Cauliflower also has its own magnificent nutritional profile. Loaded with vitamin C and potassium, this delicious vegetable takes on a whole new meaning of heartiness. Roasted cauliflower takes on an entirely new richness.
For this recipe, you’ll need a very hot oven to help the cauliflower form a crispy, crunchy crust that will emanate a deliciously savory flavor. Crushed red pepper and fresh basil will boost the flavor up a few notches.
If you want add a cooling and creamy element to it, top it with lemon juice, drizzle of tahini sauce or Paleo yogurt.
Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower recipe
- Cauliflower (1 head)
- Turmeric (1 teaspoon)
- Coconut oil (melted, 2 tablespoons)
- Cumin (1/2 teaspoon)
- Crushed red pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
- Crushed garlic (1/2 teaspoon)
- Fresh basil (chopped, 2 tablespoons)
- Water (2 tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Chop the cauliflower head into florets.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients – turmeric, coconut oil, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper, cumin, and water in a bowl.
- Put the cauliflower pieces on a pan and gently pour the mixture over them and toss well.
- Place the pan inside the oven and roast for 30 minutes, and top with basil.
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