|

Flavors with benefits: Sage, turmeric

Published: October 2011

Sage inhibits the breakdown of a chemical crucial for memory and thinking.
Photo: Photograph by Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

In addition to adding flavor to your dishes, the spices sage and turmeric might help protect your brain. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical crucial for memory and thinking. A small trial published in 2003 found that taking capsules of sage oil improved attention and memory in people with Alzheimer's disease. And a 2010 study of healthy adults suggested that the pills boost cognition and mood.

Curcumin, the substance that gives turmeric its yellow color, might keep Alzheimer's disease from progressing by countering the accumulation of destructive brain proteins and curbing inflammation. A clinical trial currently enrolling participants at the University of California at Los Angeles will test curcumin's effect on memory in people up to age 90.

It doesn't make sense for the average person to take sage or curcumin supplements. But the research provides good reason to work the spices into your cooking and eating repertory—for example, by eating curried dishes, a good source of turmeric.

   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

WASHING MACHINE REVIEWS
Washer-and-dryer pairs that cleaned up in our tests We've found a number of matching duos that are worth a look.
CAR BUYING ADVICE
Buying a new car? Learn how to get the best loan Don't make the mistake of concentrating only on the monthly payment.
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS & GUIDE
Expert picks: Best holiday gift ideas for kidsVideo Get a jump on holiday shopping with these presents for children.
TABLET COMPUTER REVIEWS
Apple iPad Air 2 is thinner, but not much else is new The iPad mini also gets an update, and an older model costs just $249.
COUNTERTOP REVIEWS
10 ways to cut the clutter on your kitchen counter For starters, don’t store things that you rarely use on your counter.
MATTRESS REVIEWS
5 mattresses made with couples in mindVideo Bounce resistance and adjustable firmness are key when shopping for two.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more