Eating a curry once, twice, even three times a week could actually help combat Alzheimer’s, according to experts.
At the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Liverpool, members were told that regular consumption of the traditional Indian (and honorary British) dish could actively help to stave off Dementia in later life.
Here comes the science.
Curcumin, an ingredient found in Tumeric which is a key ingredient in most curries, is believed to prevent the spread and indeed the creation, of amyloid plaques – toxic protein deposits thought to play a part in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
So far the theory has only been tested on mice, however studies around the world show that populations that eat curry regularly seem to have much lower cases of Dementia than populations that don’t.
Indian-born expert, Professor Murali Doraiswamy said that the rate of Alzheimer’s is known to be low in Asian communities with turmeric-rich diets. He adds: ‘The next step is to test curcumin on human amyloid plaque formation using newer brain scans and there are plans for that.’
He goes on to explain that while the full range of effects of curcumin are still largely unknown, it is believed that it plays a huge part in reducing inflammation – an immune reaction triggered by Alzheimer’s.
The spice can be added to other dishes too and is found in certain condiments such as mustard, which the Professor recommended for those who aren’t big fans of curry.
‘It is considered one of the three or four essential spices that are good for longevity. I eat curry at least three or four times a week and even when I make Western dishes I often use curry spices to flavour them.’
So there you go. No longer should curries be reserved for drunken Friday nights! Doctor’s orders people.
Hat tip ITN