If our body isn’t properly maintained, it breaks down. The brain works the same way. When we give it the right mixture of fuel and oxygen and a healthy dose of the right nutrients, it runs well. But let the maintenance slide and our health eventually begins to decline. At that point, we can either rejuvenate, rehabilitate or start labeling those photographs!
Brain foods supply both fuel and the necessary nutrients to keep your brain in top form. All are whole foods, minimally processed and as fresh as possible. These foods nourish your brain, providing a sustained energy source and specific nutritional resources. The key to whole foods is in the synergistic properties of fuel and nutrients working together.
The brain consumes copious amounts of nutrients so the more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you get from your food…the healthier your brain will be.
The Mind Medicine Method focuses on foods that pull double duty. Not only do these foods supply exceptional nutrient value, but they also provide protection from degenerative processes.
One group of foods that do this to an impressive degree, we don’t even consider as food! They’re looked upon as flavour accessories! Yet spices have some of the most potent protective and healing properties of all foods.
Curcumin is an active ingredient of the popular Indian spice, turmeric. You may know it as the yellow coloured ingredient in curries. It has the annoying and cloying habit of staining anything it touches, including my white kitchen floor.
This exotic spice, cultivated for centuries, sports an impressive number of benefits and are one of the most studied food products today.
Not only does turmeric act as a flavour enhancer in many delicious Indian dishes, but it also has anti cancer properties, acts as an anti-inflammatory, liver supportive, contains phytoestrogenic compounds, and shows a significant effect as a therapeutic agent in neuro-inflammatory disease processes like Alzheimer’s.
In several recent research findings, curcumin has shown an impressive ability to inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The bonus is that because curcumin is a food, there are no dangerous side effects, although there is an extra benefit. Curcumin, acts as an antianxiolitic. In other words, it can calm you down as well as help retain your memories!
Don’t think though that you can go out and buy a pound of turmeric spice and start taking it by the spoonful! Curcumin is not easily absorbed, due to the damaging effect of stomach acid, most of the active components don’t make it into the bloodstream.
Fortunately, there are ways of enhancing curcumin’s assimilation: through specific manufacturing processes and by combining it with other key nutrients. Piperine, a constituent of black pepper, aids in curcumin’s absorption, as does enteric coating of capsules. Currently, research is finding promise through intravenous administration where curcumin bypasses the digestive system completely. Even nano-technology has paired up with this wonder spice, creating a supplement programmed for special delivery!
In our clinic we favour two products, not only for their efficacy but also for the wealth of research and safety backing them. Priority One and Thorne Research both offer formulas that deliver curcumin to where it is needed! I take Meriva-SR, a patented formula from Thorne Research, that doesn’t upset my sensitive tummy and John takes Priority One’s patented Curcumin C3 Complex. Both are standardized to deliver 250 and 1000 mg of curcumin, respectively. You can purchase these top quality, professional products, through naturopathic offices or by contacting Dr. John Yim, ND at 250-755-1930.
One other benefit of curcumin is its ability to enhance memory after brain trauma and ischemia. As stroke impacts more and more North Americans, finding a simple, effective and non-toxic solution to memory loss is imperative. If you have a loved one who has recently experienced memory loss related to brain trauma consider curcumin as part of their therapy.
For anyone desiring graceful, health-filled aging, add curcumin to your daily regime of healthy living solutions.
The tenth largest area of pharmaceutical research is in cognition enhancement. In one year over 150 brain drugs were being tested worldwide. Yet for over 5000 years a simple herb has been used by the Chinese to slow brain aging and retain memory. Find out what that herb is, next time on 101 Things to Do To Build Brain Power!