Uses of spices are not limited to flavoring your foods. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, they are also used for therapeutic purposes. A number of common spices even help in improving our brain function. They contain certain compounds that help in preventing degeneration of the brain cells that leads to memory loss.
The Following Spices Are Considered Especially Effective In Boosting Your Brainpower:
Turmeric, the spice that gives the curry its yellow color, is also valued for its neuroprotective property. In addition, to its main active constituent curcumin, researchers have identified another compound Ar-turmerone that supports regeneration of the brain cells. According to studies the bioactive constituents of turmeric help in suppressing activities of inflammatory chemicals and counters oxidative stress, thereby helping in maintaining the healthy functioning of the brain cells.
The compounds macelignan and myristignan found in nutmeg help in blocking an enzyme involved in degeneration of the brain cells. By supporting healthy growth of the brain cells, the active compounds in nutmeg also help in improving memory. Moreover, nutmeg also aids relaxation and helps in improving the quality of sleep. Without restful sleep your brain cannot function properly.
Black pepper can also help in improving cognitive function. Piperine, the active component that gives black pepper its hotness, helps in slowing down brain aging. It helps in maintaining the normal level of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, thereby helping in preventing mood disorders that affect your memory.
Cinnamon is a source of potent antioxidant compounds that help in countering oxidative stress in the brain. According to experimental studies, cinnamon helps in maintaining the normal dopamine level in the brain. A small clinical trial has shown that smelling cinnamon helps in improving memory. Furthermore, the blood sugar lowering effect of cinnamon helps in protecting the brain from the adverse effect of diabetes.
Low levels of the brain chemicals, apart from causing emotional disorders, slow down cognitive function. Saffron contains bioactive components that help in restoring the normal balance of the brain chemicals. It is especially effective in stimulating production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate. Furthermore, the antioxidant effect of saffron helps in slowing down brain aging and reduces risk of age-related cognitive decline.