‘Impressive’: Dr. Mosley says popular spice can help keep your brain in ‘best shape’

Dr. Michael Mosley began this episode of his Just One Thing podcast with a veggie curry after placing chopped onions in a heated pan. Leaving the onion to sizzle, he added the “most important” part, the golden seasoning. Not only can this ingredient fight inflammation, but it can also keep your brain in “better shape,” according to a doctor.

The colorful spice that Dr. Mosley used to season curry was turmeric.

Whether you drink it in a latte or prefer to sprinkle it on savory dishes, the connection between turmeric and good health is nothing new.

Speaking on the podcast, the doctor said: “It has been used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to relieve liver and digestive problems.

“Over the past couple of decades or so, scientific research on turmeric, and in particular its active ingredient, curcumin, has exploded, and there have been many studies looking at the health effects of this golden spice.

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“And some of the findings were impressive.”

A 2022 study found that people who ate a lot of turmeric-rich curries like Korma kept their brains in “better shape.”

The study lasted almost five years and covered 2,700 older people.

Participants showed improvements in things like working memory and problem solving.

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“The authors hypothesized that curcumin, which is a polyphenol in turmeric, is responsible for these positive effects,” Dr. Mosley said.

In addition, turmeric is also considered an anti-inflammatory agent, which is supported by research.

Dr. Mosley said: “In an Australian study where they gave curcumin pill form to 80 elderly people, they found that, compared to placebo, supplementation improved working memory and reduced fatigue.

“One of the ways this can work is by reducing inflammation.”

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It is worrying that diets high in inflammatory foods may accelerate brain aging, increasing the risk of dementia.

This is where turmeric can step in and lend a helping hand by improving your brain health.

Now, before you start adding golden spice to all your meals and treats, there are a few rules to follow.

Dr. Mosley said, “The big problem with curcumin is that there’s usually very little absorption.”

Luckily, pairing the spice with fat and pepper can help you get more of the powerful part.

Both peppers and fatty foods increase the bioavailability of curcumin, making creamy curries and turmeric lattes ideal candidates.

Dr. Mosley added: “So if you’re looking for an excuse to have that delicious hot drink or maybe the curry you crave, here it is – add some turmeric.

“It can improve your brain and keep you out of pain.”

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