Adding a bit of spice to your diet is good for your brain as a spice commonly used in curry dishes could help banish bad memories, new research suggests.
The flavorful spice turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which could protect against neurodegenerative diseases and help in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to research from the City University of New York and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Researchers conducted tests to see if curcumin could be helpful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and the ability to let go of bad memories. The study involved feeding rats pellets enriched with compound and feeding others a normal diet. After a series of tests, it was found that those who ate food which had curcumin in it had difficulty retrieving fear-based or bad memories.
The researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of the compound interferes with cellular processes in the brain that are critical for putting a memory into long-term storage. The targeting of targeting inflammation in the brain can also aid in the treatment of diseases including cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease as well as PTSD.
Turmeric grows mainly in South and Southeast Asia and is a key ingredient in traditional Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is one of the main spices in curry dishes and also used in other savory as well as sweet fare.