Although researchers and scientists have gone bonkers these days telling us what’s good for our health in general, it is always wise nevertheless to keep an open mind lest we miss a new discovery that actually works.
I have often considered spices a deterrent for ill health when applied in a good cuisine.
A diet rich in hot red chillies, parsley, thyme and camomile seem to boost the brain’s function and improves memory and learning, researchers have discovered.
The herbs and spices have high levels of the plant compound Apigenin, which improves neuron formation and strengthens the connections between brain cells, a study shows.
Brazilian scientists said Apigenin, part of a group of compounds called Flavonoids, has the potential to treat diseases such as schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The study in Advances in Regenerative Biology is the first to show direct positive effects of Apigenin on human cells. Laboratory tests showed human stem cells treated with Apigenin become neurons after twenty-five days and make strong, sophisticated connections.
Professor Stevens Rehen of Rio de Janeiro University said: ‘The connections are crucial for good brain function, memory consolidation and learning.’
It is certainly welcome news for people of an over-mature age, who suffer some deterioration in memory retention, especially where it concerns familiar names of people and objects. In the circumstances, they are well advised to use spices which in any case enhance the gourmet’s appetite while at the same time give the brain a jolt to reactivate its possible languidity.
Being the mug that I am for new discoveries, so says I to spices: ‘Here I come and you’d better be alert to serve me well.’