By Heather Callaghan
Researchers from Monash Asia Institute at Monash University found that you can spice up your memory and help with diabetic and prediabetic conditions, with a tiny amount of a powdery substance that might be in your cabinet as we speak.
This substance can be added to scrambled egg recipes…
Can make porridge and oatmeal pop when something sweet is added.
Mixed into pancake batters.
Sprinkled atop some waffles and blended with maple.
Mixed with leftovers…
Or in the case of this study, placed on plain ol’ boring toast.
And of course, it doesn’t have to be for breakfast… Have you guessed what it is yet?
Researchers for the study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding just one gram (about 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon) of turmeric to breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and at risk of cognitive impairment.
Cognitive impairment and dementia have been connected to diabetes in the past, so it made sense to test the powers of turmeric on both. Curcumin, which accounts for 3 to 6 percent of turmeric and has been shown by experimental studies to reduce the risk of dementia. And it is true that black pepper increases the bioavailability of curcumin by a thousand times.
Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist said that early intervention by halting dementia/diabetes or softening its impact can reduce the burden of the aging population’s rising cases of diabetes which leaves them predisposed to other disease and disorders.
Wahlqvist recently led a study in Taiwan that tested the working memory of men and women aged 60 or older who had recently been diagnosed with untreated pre-diabetes.
Working memory is widely thought to be one of the most important mental faculties, critical for cognitive abilities such as planning, problem solving and reasoning.
Assessment of working memory is simple and convenient, but it is also very useful in the appraisal of cognition and in predicting future impairment and dementia.
In the placebo-controlled study, subjects were given one gram (about 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon) of turmeric with an otherwise nutritionally bland breakfast of white bread. Their working memory was tested before and some hours after the meal.
We found that this modest addition to breakfast improved working memory over six hours in older people with pre-diabetes
Our findings with turmeric are consistent with these observations, insofar as they appear to influence cognitive function where there is disordered energy metabolism and insulin resistance.
Check out more of Wahlqvist’s publications here.
Part of the reason turmeric is known to help with diabetes is the very fact that it can lower blood sugar. This means that if you have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, thyroid problems that mess with blood sugar, and blood pressure problems you should consult with your preferred healthcare practitioner first. It is also naturally a blood thinner! Turmeric can mess with the effects of those medications as well. See other cautions here.
Turmeric is potent for the ability of such small amounts to create tangible change in the body, including pain relief. Please get yours inexpensively in bulk at the healthfood store, but yes, you can find the spice online too, cheaper in bulk. Look for organic and non-irradiated for best benefits.