​Flavoring Food With Brain-Smart Herbs and Spices

We use herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of our meals, but many herbs and spices can also boost memory and mental clarity and support a healthy mood. These are some of the most brain-smart herbs and spices. 
 
Curcumin
Curcumin is recognized for helping to promote healthy, normal inflammation balance, but it also supports cognitive health and provides a calming effect. It's the main ingredient in curry dishes, but there are many other ways to incorporate this spice into our dishes. Curcumin can be sprinkled over bean and rice dishes, used to enhance a basic egg salad, or mixed into homemade salad dressing for a bolder flavor.
 
Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a great spice for breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, or avocado toast. It's also great sprinkled on tacos, in chili, or over stir-fry dishes. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which supports healthy blood flow and boosts brain health.
 
Cloves
This fragrant spice contains eugenol, a phenolic compound. Cloves can help support healthy blood flow which is critical for brain health. Cloves go well with mulled wine and warm cider. They also add exceptional flavor to squash and pumpkin dishes.
 
Mint
Just the scent of mint can support memory and cognitive health. Fresh mint goes well on fruit salads and tastes great in a pitcher of water, along with fresh lime slices. Mint is also delicious in smoothies that contain kale. 
 
Sage
Sage has properties that support graceful aging and memory health. Add sage to stuffing and squash dishes. One of my favorite ways to use it is to lightly fry it until it's just crispy, then sprinkle it over cooked ravioli with cream sauce. Add pine nuts over the top for even more flavor. 
 
Oregano
Oregano has powerful antioxidant properties that can fight free radical damage. Make fresh pesto with oregano, sprinkle it over sauteed vegetables, or use it in soups or stews.
 
Rosemary
Rosemary has antioxidant properties and supports healthy circulation and cognitive function. Whole sprigs of rosemary can be used in stews and on roasts. Remove the needles, and sprinkle it on roasted red potatoes. It's also great in water when combined with lemon and cucumber.