Eating one gram of turmeric with your breakfast every day can help keep you mentally sharp, especially as you get older. The spice, which gives curries their yellow colouring, may even halt or reverse early-stage diabetes, researchers say.
Turmeric's active compound is curcumin, and it is this that is believed to have the health-giving qualities.
Researchers from the Monash Asia Institute at Monash University tested the effect of turmeric on the working memory of a group of men and women aged 60 and over who had recently been diagnosed with early-stage diabetes. Diabetes is thought to be a precursor of cognitive impairment and diabetes.
Half the group was given one gram of turmeric with their breakfast every morning, and the rest was given a placebo. Both groups' working memory was tested before and after eating.
Those who ate the turmeric showed an improvement in their working memory and for six hours afterwards.
(Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014; 23: doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.24)