Turmeric is a spice used in many South Asian dishes. But what’s really causing all the buzz around turmeric these days is its many health benefits – including its benefits for brain health. Turmeric is obtained from the dried rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa. It also has a long history of medicinal use, especially in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Turmeric contains Curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
As you grow older, your brain’s experiences change too, along with the rest of your body. The structural changes that take place in the brain with age lead to the deterioration of the brain, resulting in brain shrinkage and memory loss. Also, the cognitive ability of the brain starts worsening. An aging person may gradually lose the ability to think, react, talk or walk and even can’t remember things properly. Physical and mental activity may help in combating this cognitive slump, but diet plays a role as well. That’s where turmeric comes in.
How does turmeric benefit your brain health?
Turmeric improves cognitive function and memory
Memory loss, repetition of questions and stories, not being able to assess or plan, not being able to identify familiar people, mood swings, vision problems etc. all these are the symptoms of cognitive impairment. As per the studies, Curcumin, the active compound of turmeric has the ability to improve the cognitive function and attention span of seniors. A little addition of few grams of turmeric in your food can also aid the prevention of memory loss.
Turmeric helps to fight aging
Turmeric is believed to alleviate a variety of ailments related to oxidative stress, such as helping protect your body against cancerous cells, relieving brain fogging, achieving mental clarity and a better night’s sleep. Oxidative stress increases significantly in an aging brain and is one of the major causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Turmeric enhances the expression of HO-1 which is an antioxidant enzyme. As a result, it is an incredibly potent supplement for oxidative-stress related ailments, and works as an antioxidant to fight aging.
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Turmeric offers protection against Alzheimer’s disease
Age is a primary cause of the neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, which is characterized by Dementia. Due to the improper folding of a protein called Tau, tangles form in the brain and there is an aggregation of beta-amyloid in it. This aggregation damages the mitochondria in the brain as beta-amyloid binds with ABAD enzyme of mitochondria and tempers its function. Turmeric inhibits lipid peroxidation, prevents neuro-inflammation and oxidative stress and prevents the aggregation of beta-amyloid in the brain.
Turmeric is therapeutic in the case of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and a gradually progressive degenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System that affects the movement which develops slowly with increase in age in people. As per various researchers, dopamine levels start falling in Parkinson’s disease and it can be effectively cured by turmeric. Curcumin with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and the neuroprotective property has many healing applications in Parkinson’s disease. It prevents the reduction in dopamine, reduces oxidative stress, prevents cell death of dopaminergic neurons, and prevents inflammation and memory deficiencies.
Turmeric works as an antidepressant
Depression is a very normal in old age due to decline in cognitive function, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Turmeric has potent antidepressant properties. Researchers have discovered that Curcumin treatment restrains the immobility period and increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This can invert depression in old age people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders.
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It relieves anxiety and stress
Anxiety is often associated with depression and is a condition where one can’t think clearly and is in a state of worrisome thoughts or fear on a constant basis. It also leads to the feelings of stress, restlessness, and tiredness which build up over time and can be deleterious to the lifestyle of people. Curcumin mediates the anti-anxiety effect by regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutathione etc. that reduces anxiety, stress and other cognitive deficits caused by stress.
In short, complications like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, anxiety, and depression occur in the old age due to neurodegeneration which can be prevented by turmeric.
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