Indian or Chinese takeout tonight? Go for the former, or better yet, make it yourself. Curcumin, an active component of turmeric (a pungent herb used in curry), has been shown to reduce inflammation in nerve cells, leading scientists to suggest in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology that it may lead to “a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.” Another study, in Stem Cell Research & Therapy, shows that turmeric can support regeneration in neurologic disorders. TRY THIS: Toss air-popped popcorn with curry powder, and add the spice to soups, stews and even scrambled eggs.
Your daily cup of tea does more than provide a caffeine boost. Results from a long-term study with over 950 subjects showed that regular tea consumption could lower the risk of cognitive decline by 50%, and subjects genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may have up to an 86% reduced risk. According to the lead researcher, bioactive compounds found in tea leaves such as catechins and L-theanine are what give tea its cognitive-boosting benefits. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help protect the brain.
FOCUS ON GUT HEALTH
The gut-brain relationship is receiving a lot of attention these days. Your intestines are brimming with bacteria, which play a role in a range of bodily functions. Maintaining healthy gut bacteria may help lower inflammation and limit the activity of free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage cells. Both inflammation and cellular decay are thought to be factors in brain dysfunction. By eating to promote a healthy gut, you can protect your brain from degeneration. So, what does gut-friendly, brain-beneficial eating look like? Let us show you in our new online course.
Check out this recipe from Trudy's upcoming course!
Brain-Boosting Falafel Bowl
with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Q V GF
SERVES 4 TO 6. HANDS-ON TIME: 25 MINUTES. TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES.
*PLUS SOAKING TIME.
4 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
1½ cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in the refrigerator, drained
½ cup each fresh flat-leaf parsley and cilantro
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp each ground cumin and Za’atar (TIP: If you can’t find this Middle Eastern spice mix, you can use ¼ tsp each dried thyme and oregano.)
¼ tsp each ground coriander and ground cayenne pepper
1½ tsp sea salt
6 cups romaine lettuce or salad greens
¼ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup tahini
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prepare falafel: Place garlic in a food processor and pulse to chop. Add onion and pulse to chop. Add soaked chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, oil, cumin, Za’atar, coriander, cayenne and salt. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
3. Take 2 to 3 tbsp of mixture, roll it into a ball and then pat it flat; place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden.
4. Meanwhile, make dressing: In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, oil and ¼ cup water, or as needed, adding water a bit at a time to get desired consistency. Season with salt.
5. To a large bowl or platter, add lettuce. Top with falafel patties, cabbage, cucumber and tomatoes. Drizzle dressing over top or serve alongside.
Sign up to learn more about this popular new course at cleaneating.com/healthybrain
TRUDY STONE PHOTO BY BLACK TUX PHOTOGRAPHY, FALAFEL IMAGE BY BAILEY LARUE ■