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Spices of Life


Boost Your Brain Cooking with Herbs & Spices

By Dr. Daniel Amen


Here is a little food for thought, literally. If you want to get thinner, smarter, and happier, then reach for the spice cupboard. Using spices rather than heavy cream sauces or butter cuts calories so you can lose weight. Research shows that they can also boost your brain and your mood.

  • Turmeric: Found in curry, turmeric contains a chemical that has been shown to decrease the plaques in the brain thought to be responsible for Alzheimer's disease.

  • Saffron: In three studies, a saffron extract was found to be as effective as antidepressant medication in treating people with mild to moderate depression.

  • Sage: This fragrant spice has very good scientific evidence that it helps to boost memory.

  • Thyme: Studies show that thyme increases the amount of DHA in the brain, which protects against age-related degeneration.

  • Rosemary: A 2006 study reported that rosemary diminishes cognitive decline in people with dementia.

  • Cinnamon: One of my favorite spices, cinnamon has been shown to help attention.

  • Other spices that boost or protect brain power include garlic, oregano, and basil.