Regardless of age, there are many ways of training your brain to improve cognitive function, mental clarity and memory. But, we’re going to leave popular methods like rest, physical exercise, solving puzzles and meditation for another blog segment. This post is tailored towards brain food—in particular spices—which are loaded with potent phytonutrients destined to arise brain health by combating stress, inflammation and degeneration.
Black Tea promotes blood flow to brain
Cinnamon is a cognition booster
Ginger improve focus, memory and quicker response time
Cardamom reduces anxiety and other mood related disorders
Cloves reduce inflammation, improve memory and learning capacity
Fennel Seeds lead to better memory and cognition
Black Pepper increases happy hormones serotonin and dopamine
Coriander Seeds calm the brain and remedy against headaches
We often associate cognitive development with infants and children as their brains grow in size, neural tissue and capacity. As we grow up, the brain reaches maximum size and develops a set of beliefs and ways which impacts our physical and mental health. Many believe that the brain (as with rest of the body) reaches its potential ability by adulthood; but does it?
It turns out that adult brain is not hard wired as some areas are continuously working, developing and adapting by growing new cells (neurons) and connections (synapses). Scientists call this on-going brain adaptation as plasticity or neuroplacticity linking it to learning, memory and recovering from brain injury.[2-3] This means that every time we learn new things, create memories or think new concepts, the brain is stimulated and begins to rewire itself.
These exciting facts about cognitive development enhance quality of life and expectancy by strengthening brain tissue for greater performance and faster recovery from damage [3,4] and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Regardless of age, there are many ways of training your brain to improve cognitive function, mental clarity and memory. But, we’re going to leave popular methods like rest, physical exercise, solving puzzles and meditation for another blog segment.[6-11] This post is tailored towards brain food—in particular spices—which are loaded with potent phytonutrients destined to arise brain health by combating stress, inflammation and degeneration.
Oxidative Stress—the Common Culprit
To meet our energy demands, we eat nutrients to fuel the body’s metabolism. This involves millions of biochemical pathways that produce waste (by-products), some of which come in form of unstable molecules called free radicals. As the name suggests, free radicals can and do react suddenly with stable cellular tissues causing damage known as oxidation. Having some free radicals are not a bad thing, as immune system keeps a reservoir for our protection against foreign invaders. The body balances free radical levels with antioxidants (or anti-oxidation) maintaining the balance. The problems evolve when this balance is disrupted as more free radicals are produced than available antioxidants. This constant state of oxidation is referred to as oxidative stress.
Spices Fight Inflammation
Immune system uses inflammation to protect the body from injuries, infections and disease. It is the process that is initiated once some kind of problem or foreign agent is identified. Acute inflammation is when this response stops once the issue has been resolved (ie: infection has been destroyed). But, when inflammatory response doesn’t stop and keeps going, it begins to attack healthy tissues causing accumulating damage. This over-reactivity is often referred to as chronic inflammation and is the core of what autoimmune diseases (like arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus) are made of.
Brain is a very important organ but, no different than the rest of the body which is susceptible to damage from free radicals, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. To combat any health issue, we often direct focus towards the diet. Many foods have been analyzed for nutrient value in particular their antioxidant content in order to decrease inflammation within body including neural tissue. Diets, books and authors refer to foods high in antioxidants as superfoods.
Tested foods with highest antioxidant content have been placed in charts (ORAC value) and provided for the public. If we look at the ORAC values for most potent antioxidant foods, majority of them are spices and herbs. This is no accident, as spices have a long history of being used as healing tonics by ancient medicines.
At DUPIsCHAI we combine practical experiences of traditional remedies with modern scientific research producing blends using the most powerful superfoods on earth—spices.
Arise the Brain Power
To protect neural tissue against oxidative stress damage, we need phytonutrients that not only potent in antioxidants but capable of passing through brain-blood barrier, an ability that can not be accomplished by every molecule. The spices below, can access brain tissues, packing plenty of healing power against free radicals and trigger other pathways for greater cognitive function and neural protection. Let’s take a closer look.
Top 7 Spice to Enhance Brain Function
The following potent ingredients make up our Arise Tea Blend with 3x more antioxidant rich spices.
Black tea contains caffeine (about 40 mg per 235 mL cup) which has been extensively studied showing improvement in cognition. Caffeine in tea improves mental focus and concentration by promoting blood flow to the brain. Unlike drinks with higher caffeine doses (ie. coffee and energy drinks), the caffeine in black tea is less likely to over-stimulate the heart and cause other unpleasant side effects.
Black tea also has an amino acid called L-theanine which relaxes the brain creating better focus. Black tea can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels which link to improved memory. Studies show caffeine and L-theanine working together to improve cognitive performance by improving focus and attention, as well as mood.
Cinnamon embodies the “power of spice” definition. Loaded with flavonoids like eugenol, quercetin, epicatechin, cinnamtannin B1, cinnamaldehyde and elements like manganese, cinnamon showcases its might with the #3 spot on the ORAC (267,536) chart. These phytonutrients produce a sweet-like aroma that fight inflammation, diabetes, cancers, bacteria and neurodegenerative diseases. Animal studies show cinnamon as a cognition booster by improving learning capacity, focus and memory [17,18]
Just by smelling or chewing cinnamon products can boost cognitive activity and improve response of memory tasks. Smelling cinnamon improves motivation and performance while reducing anxiety related symptoms in ADHD children.
Ginger is one of the most widely used spices in the world and for a good reason. Active ingredients (100+ identified thus far) of this fragrant rhizome are potent inflammation fighters that directly neutralizing free radicals and deactivate inflammatory pathways within developing diseases such as respiratory illness, indigestion, diabetes, cancers, arthritis and dementia.
Ginger’s mighty antioxidants protect against brain disorders by improving organ blood flow, safeguarding nerve cells and inhibiting inflammation responses. While protecting brain integrity, ginger simultaneously improves cognitive function like memory, even after a stroke. Though much of the research is done in an animal model, human studies are on the rise. Eating ginger shown to improve focus, memory and quicker response times.
Rich in phytonutrients, cardamom helps reduce stress and increase brain function and cognition. Cardamom’s high levels of thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin C and manganese fight oxidative stress, improve nerve communication, energy and cognition in animal models. Manganese is a powerful antioxidant that improves efficiency in different brain regions (hypothalamus and cortex). This helps in Parkinson’s disease, by reversing some of the damage within affected neural pathways towards a healthier brain.
Cardamom’s anti-inflammatory properties produce a relaxing effect, reduce anxiety and other mood related disorders like PTSD. Quercetin is a flavonoid compound within cardamom, believed to be responsible for such powerful effect. Research shown quercetin lowers anxiety and depression in small animals.
Cloves are the antioxidant superpower that tips the ORAC scale at 314,446 as the most potent antioxidant product. Cloves not only pack the quantity but the potency of their phytonutrients including some well researched vitamins (A, C, E, K), manganese and flavonoids like quercetin, anthocyanin, and eugenol. Eugenol is a strong polyphenol that effectively reduces inflammation and shown to be 29 times more powerful than aspirin when it comes to preventing blood clots. And, cloves have highest levels of eugenol to any spice. Animal studies show that cloves essential oils able to reduce inflammation, improve memory and learning capacity.
Fennel seeds are filled with numerous functioning and protective ingredients like kaempferol, quercetin, anethole, vitamin C, B complex, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Potassium is a type of electrolyte that’s needed for proper electrical messaging throughout the body, including the brain.
Acetylcholine (ACh) is another important neurotransmitter and regulator of neural messaging within central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems. As a neurotransmitter, ACh is released in neuromuscular junctions to stimulate muscle contractions, while in the brain it modulates impulses responsible for attention, memory, motivation and arousal. Deterioration of ACh (as often seen with age) and its pathways decreases cognition and places us in a greater risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzhemier’s. Phytonutrients within fennel seeds link protecting integrity of the brain tissue against oxidative damage, increasing ACh levels and leading to better memory and cognition.
Black pepper contains many powerful bioactive compounds that produce a multitude of antioxidant responses within the brain. Piperine is the main active ingredient responsible for the unique strong taste and smell of black pepper fruit. Piperine is not only a strong antioxidant, but it improves bioavailability—absorption of other powerful compounds into the blood stream. Scientists link piperine to greater memory and learning capacity in dementia animals.
Piperine has also shown to increase the mood through raising levels of dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good and calming neurotransmitters. The two are often used as markers and treatments for Parkinson’s and epilepsy. Studies showed that piperine affect neural communication pathways elevating levels of serotonin and dopamine.
The seeds of a parsley plant, coriander seeds have been used by our ancestors for over 6500 years. As a metabolic booster, coriander seeds possess a multitude of phytonutrients including its star ingredient linalool. Coriander can calm the brain as linalool shown to reduce anxiety in animals as effectively as common anxiolytic drugs. Coriander has also been used as an ancient remedy against migraines. Human trials confirm this by showing coriander’s mighty anti-inflammatory properties and decreasing the duration, intensity and frequency of a migraine attack.
Arise Blend is designed far more than just a brain boosting product. It’s an all natural, powerful blend that will not only increase cognitive functionality, mood and performance, but will also sustain it.
The selected spices possess potent phytonutrients capable of passing through the selective brain-blood barrier where they enhance brain function in a gradual and sustainable manner.
These ingredients also protect the integrity of ever important brain cells against environmental factors, oxidative stress, neuro-degeneration and aging reality.
Selected spices work cohesively to produce multitude of benefits along with a beautiful aroma and flavour that is distinctly unique to DUPIsCHAI Arise.
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