As research continues with a goal of ultimately improving and some day preventing Alzheimer’s disease,we are learning more and more just how important the link between our food choices and our overall brain health truly is. We have known for some time now that fat comes in two forms, good and bad. To completely remove fat from our diet is not wise. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil do good things when broken down in our body, such as help to decrease the plaques and tangles that form with Alzheimer’s disease. We also know that foods rich in Omega 3’s, such as walnuts, almonds, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna are also beneficial. And now receiving increased attention is the value of old fashioned turmeric, a spice used in curries, that is believed to decrease the amount of beta amyloid in the brain thus decreasing the chance of plaque formation. Further support for turmeric is found in the fact that India, a country that is known to heavily use the spice, has one of the lowest overall populations of Alzheimer’s patients. Turmeric is also believed to have value as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, thus offering some benefit to those suffering from arthritis.
While I would not advise independently starting on turmeric supplements, it might be wise to discuss the possibility with the physician to see if this would be an option as some studies suggest participants demonstrated improved memory and overall function while on Turmeric therapy. Regardless of the “latest greatest” recommended food to try, remember that maintaining a Mediterranean style diet, exercising regularly, and staying socially active is a great recipe to maintain your brain and protect it as much as possible from potential illness.