The trendiest spice of the year apparently has some amazing health benefits. According to some new research, turmeric might help your mood, memory, and even lower your risk for Alzheimer’s.

A study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry examined the effects of curcumin, a chemical element found in the spice, on a group of 40 people between 50 and 90-years-old who reported mild memory complaints.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 months. They were then given cognitive assessments to test their memory.  Those taking the supplement reported improvements of 28 percent in their accuracy.

The sample size of the study may be small, but the results are still fascinating and great news for curry lovers. As if we needed an excuse to eat more of the stuff! Hopefully the results will be replicated in future tests.

Even beyond this latest news, turmeric is definitely having a moment. It is the flavor of 2018. In addition to this research, the spice commonly found in Indian dishes has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also been hailed as a cure-all for everything from bloating to teeth whitening (though the science is still out on that one).

And even if you’re skeptical of its health benefits, the sweet, earthy taste is a great way to spice up your life. Add it to deviled eggs, put in your latte, or buy one of the 18,000 juice or kombucha options saturating the market. They even make skin care products with the stuff! (Though why you’d wear a face mask instead of eating a curry is beyond me.)

Even when the hype surrounding this zeitgeist-y spice starts to fade, we’ll still be here for it. Because gobbling down copious amounts of Indian food never goes out of style.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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