The brain is a mysterious and complicated organ. But, it turns out protecting it couldn’t be easier.
Because better brain health can be as simple as whipping up your favorite meal. Really.
Boost brain health with these kitchen cures
In fact, some common herbs you can pick up at the local grocery store today could help you shield your brain from damage for years to come.
Parsley and Thyme:
Parsley and thyme taste terrific together or apart. But these two herbs share more than just their palate-pleasing taste. They’re both brimming with a powerful bioflavonoid called apigenin.
Early research out of Brazil has found this potent compound could help transform your thinker into a super brain.
Researchers say apigenin leads to stronger, healthier neurological connections. The flavonoid encourages your brain to create new neurons, and increases the connections between existing brain cells as well.
Which means if you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated when you forgot someone’s name or exasperated when trying to master a new skill, apigenin-rich foods may help.
Research had already revealed compounds related to the nutrient have a positive effect on memory and learning. And the new study confirms the flavonoid supports cognitive function and brain health, too.
According to experts, the apigenin found in parsley and thyme even has to the potential to treat brain-linked diseases including…
Chamomile and red pepper are good sources of the compound too. Try using more apigenin-rich herbs in your meals to boost your own brain health.
If your Jeopardy skills aren’t quite what they used to be, try sage. A growing number of animal and human studies have found the fragrant spice may help improve memory.
For example, in one placebo controlled trial volunteers taking a sage extract did significantly better on word recall tests than folks who got a placebo.
Researchers believe the herb works its memory magic by helping to protect acetylcholine. This important neurotransmitter is essential for healthy cognitive function. Plus the herb’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions may be useful for fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
You can use sage to bump up the flavor of everything from omelets to pork chops. Or brew up some sage tea by steeping a couple of teaspoons of the dried herb in hot water for several minutes.
And before you know it, you could be acing those Jeopardy questions once again.
Just a whiff of fragrant rosemary may be enough to boost your memory.
In one study when researchers had volunteers simply SMELL a rosemary extract before taking some cognitive tests, they completed the tests more quickly and accurately.
And it wasn’t a onetime fluke either. In a second study, the aroma of rosemary boosted memory, mental accuracy and speed.
The herb targets “prospective” or working memory, which is how you remember upcoming events. It’s common for working memory to fade a bit with age. But using more rosemary in your meals could head off that decline, boosting your brain health, as you get older.
And the rosemary benefits don’t end there, either. According to research conducted at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, the antioxidants in rosemary can also help protect against strokes, and age-related cell degeneration.
And according to Healthier Talk contributor Dr. Rothfeld, both rosemary and spearmint are proven brain boosters. In an animal experiment, extracts from the two fragrant herbs significantly improved memory and learning skills
If you’re concerned about your brain health, and you’re a peppermint fan, you’re in luck. Because experts say, this fresh smelling herb could help roll back the years on your brain’s odometer, improving your memory.
According to research out of Northumbria University in England, sipping on peppermint tea sent people’s long-term and prospective memory soaring. Plus it boosted their overall alertness and mood at the same time.
And just like rosemary, peppermint’s powerful scent alone could help give you the sharp as a tack memory you desire. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, found that just smelling peppermint improves memory and mood.
So the next time you find yourself misplacing your keys go ahead and brew up a batch of peppermint tea. Drinking it while you search may help you find them faster. And the minty smell can help keep you feeling upbeat while you look.
Fresh mint is also delicious mixed into plain Greek yogurt, blended into smoothies and sprinkled into salads.
It’s time to start taking your brain health seriously. Put these five brain-boosting herbs on your menu today for better memory tomorrow.