What’s your favorite holiday smell?
There’s a LOT to choose from: cinnamon… cloves… peppermint… the fresh tree… gingerbread… and, of course, the old chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
But for my money, there’s one smell you really can’t beat. And I’m truly thankful for this gift from God.
Now I’ll warn you. It’s NOT one you typically associate with the holidays. But you’ll catch a whiff of it today at MY house when my famous Thanksgiving mashed potatoes using grandma’s recipe are in the oven.
It’s GARLIC. And there are PLENTY of healthy reasons to make this delicious spice a year-round scent. That includes protecting something I KNOW is very precious to you.
And that’s your brain!
Upgrade your “brain software” through your belly
Brain problems don’t always START in the brain. Sometimes they begin in your BELLY.
You see, by the time we head into our senior years, our gut bacteria plummet.
And that drop in belly bugs goes hand-in-hand with the decline in memory and cognitive abilities we’ve come to expect with aging.
In other words, like a lot of things these days, our microbiome just isn’t quite what it used to be.
But it turns out eating more garlic could be the key to RESTORING your gut bacteria and, according to researchers, your memory right along with it.
Garlic extract linked to better memory
Garlic contains compounds called allyl sulfides. These potent extracts have various health benefits, from fighting candida yeast to battling leukemia and colon cancer cells.
For the animal study, a group of senior mice was given a daily supplement of allyl sulfide. Later, when the researchers compared the mice getting the garlic extract to a control group, the differences were remarkable.
The lucky critters who got the supplement had far better long- AND short-term memory, as well as significantly better spatial memory.
And the researchers believe they even figured out how the garlic extract managed this memory-restoring feat.
“Replace” your worn-out memory using garlic
The mice which got the allyl sulfide garlic supplements didn’t just gain better memory.
They also had far healthier gut flora than the senior control mice. And THIS turned out to be the key to their restored memory.
Now stick with me here because the science gets a bit complicated. We all have thousands of genes inside each of our cells. And those genes determine what the cell can do.
In the older mice, there was a significant drop in the genes that trigger a substance called NDNF (neuronal-derived natriuretic factor). NDNF is REQUIRED for both your long-term and short-term memory to work. So having less is likely the cause for the cognitive decline we see as we get older.
So what does this have to do with your gut? Well, the mice that got the compound had their gut bacteria restored. Which in turn appears to have triggered their levels of NDNF to bounce back.
The research is continuing. But you can start getting the brain benefits of garlic right away. Eating more fresh garlic is a great place to start.
To get the most benefits crush your garlic and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before stirring it into your dish. That’s what I plan on doing today with my mashed potatoes. But keep in mind cooking the garlic appears to reduce some of its potency, so I plan on stirring some crushed garlic into my already cooked green beans too.
Aged garlic is also packed with allyl sulfides, and the easiest way to tap into them is to take an aged garlic supplement.
Don’t sit back and just accept memory loss. Do something about it instead. For the price of a garlic bulb… about 52 cents last I checked… you can start “replacing” your worn-out memory today.
Need MORE reasons to add garlic to your shopping list? Check out these 8 astonishing reasons to eat MORE garlic.
I’m thankful for YOU
And before I go, I want to share one last thought.
2020 has turned out to be a challenging year. And this Thanksgiving is going to be a very different one for a lot of us. But there’s also still plenty for us to be thankful for. And for me, and the rest of us here at Healthier Talk, one of those things is YOU.
I want to personally thank you for allowing me into your inbox every day. And for trusting me to bring you the kind of health information that I hope enhances, improves, and extends your life. Happy Thanksgiving!