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Turmeric also called a super food and a super spice , has been widely used not only as a spice but as a medicine as well. The benefits of turmeric are abundant. Benefits attributed to it include pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-preventative. It can also help low cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system. Also, one of the best things about turmeric is that you can enjoy it in your food and still take advantage of its amazing medicinal properties. That beautiful yellow color of this herb is due to an active compound known as curcumin. Curcumin has been incorporated in drugs that fight against inflammation and pain. It is known to have very powerful antioxidant, antiseptic and even cancer-preventative capabilities. So let’s discuss how you can use turmeric for Alzheimer’s disease.
Indians consume turmeric almost on a daily basis because they incorporate it as a spice in their food. As a result, elderly Indians are said to have the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. It may be too early to know the reason why their rate for AD is very low but it is for a fact that they consume a lot more turmeric than people in the rest of the world.
So what’s the connection between Alzheimer’s and turmeric?
Turmeric has been linked to helping protect the body against neurological disorders including AD. This is because it contains curcuminoids which are chemical compounds with very effective anti-inflammatory properties. Alzheimer’s is said to be caused by an inflammatory response in the brain. Curcuminoids, particularly curcumin, helps to reduce inflammation which is the role of turmeric in AD.
Turmeric also contains another active compound known as turmerone. Turmerone is said to help in the regeneration of neural stem cells. This means that it helps to regrow brain cells. That is why the herb is not only considered in protecting against neurogenerative disorders like AD but also to reverse any damage that has been caused by these diseases.
How to consume turmeric
The most common way is to use it as a spice in your food. However, you may not get a significant level of curcumin absorbed in the blood if you don’t consume it together with other spices like black pepper which contains compounds that aid in absorption. Turmeric and black pepper are reasonably priced in the grocery store so consider using them in the foods you prepare.
Turmeric is also available in capsules and tablet form. Some researchers have claimed that the benefits of curcumin to the brain can be experienced when curcumin is inhaled. Getting drugs to the brain is considered one of the main challenges of finding treatment for conditions like dementia. Anything that is considered toxic is usually filtered in blood before it goes to the brain.
One important thing to remember though is that it is our environment and diet that determine our risk of accelerated brain aging and associated dementia. Considering many of the therapeutic items mentioned above can be used in foods as spices, prevention is still a better strategy. Incorporating small doses of spices like turmeric into your dietary pattern would be advisable.
Maggie Martin is currently completing her Ph.D. in Cell Biology. When she is not busy at the university, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink