Curry two to three times per week fights dementia

Here is what you might call the “active ingredient” of a good curry dish. New research continues to endorse the dementia-protection power of the curry spice turmeric, but it works most effectively if you are already eating healthy and staying active. The curry won’t cancel out junk food or no workouts on your calendar.

But if you eat five to nine daily servings of vegetables and fruit, try to avoid most saturated fat and regularly get your muscles moving, curry will potentially do more than spice up your chicken and rice. That’s because turmeric is found to help sweep amyloid plaques from brain cells that could otherwise gunk up the nerve “wiring” in the brain.

Murali Doraiswamy, a researcher at Duke University, reports “solid evidence” that individuals who consume a curry meal two to three times per week have a significantly lower risk of dementia than non-curry eaters. He says curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, binds to plaques.

The research has been performed mostly on mice, so new human studies are in process to determine if curry has similar plaque-removing qualities. New brain-scan imaging technology allows this sort of scientific investigation. UCLA is using the brain-scan methodology to evaluate curry’s potential to deter Alzheimer’s disease.

Doraiswamy mentioned that some researchers are exploring whether a curcumin or curry pill could be developed for similar therapeutic effects.

All of which gets back to the opening point. If you think a plate of curry or taking it in pill form will short-cut your way to preventing dementia, you will want to rethink that approach. We need to lay down a sensible foundation to our eating habits, be proactive about making time to be physically active and, no small thing, get enough rest at night. After that, pass the curry and enjoy a peace of mind—figuratively and literally—about your old age.