Turmeric, an herbaceous plant native to Asia that is widely used as a spice, seems to be a brain-friendly substance. Doctor Elisabetta Menna, researcher at Humanitas and at the CNR Neurosciences Institute, spoke about this in an interview for Radio24’s programme “Heart and money”.
“Turmeric has been widely studied just recently. Its active ingredient is curcumin, that is present in the plant in small amounts. The benefic principles of curcumin are related to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that it may help prevent the decline of brain functions brought by aging or, sometimes, by diseases. It is indeed a good substance for our brain, thanks to anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant properties and the presence of omega-3”.
Turmeric and beyond
“Many studies allowed researchers to write a list of brain-friendly foods that are good for our health. Vegetables and in particular, the ones in the Brassicaceae family (cauliflowers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage), are rich in vitamin C and folic acid. As a result, they enhance memory and favour attention and concentration.
Walnuts contain a huge number of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, vitamin E and vitamin B6, that help our nervous system work in many ways.
Also blueberries contain many anthocyanins and cyanidins, substances that help eliminate free radicals and enhance our anti-inflammatory reactions. In fact, it is well-known that aging may increase brain inflammations that may also cause a cognitive decline.
Turmeric, vegetables, walnuts and blueberries contribute to the maintenance of our brain and our nervous system”, the doctor pointed out.