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memory loss

So, growing up we were told how drinking milk would help us grow big and strong, and how eating carrots would make us able to see in the dark – and while the latter may be a slight exaggeration, for the most part, our mums were right. 

A nutritious diet is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, the benefits of which stretch far beyond the size of our waist or clearness of our skin. 

Certain foods can have positive impacts on brain function and mental health, with new research suggesting that a well-stocked spice rack is good for more than just adding flavour to your favourite dishes. 

A new study has found that turmeric, a colourful ingredient often found in curries, could help improve memory and lift your mood. 

Curcumin, a chemical found in the popular spice, is being hailed by researchers as an anti-inflammatory with antioxidant properties, which, when consumed regularly, could help those suffering with age-related memory loss and mental health conditions.

“Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer's disease and major depression,” said Dr. Gary Small, director of geriatric psychiatry at UCLA's Longevity Center and study author.

For the study, conducted by the University of California Los Angeles and published in the journal American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 40 participants aged between 50 and 90-years-old all presented with mild memory complaints. 

The group was then split in two with half assigned 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 month, while the other half were given a placebo. 

Results showed that those who consumed curcumin saw significant improvement in both memory and mood, with some performing up to 28 per cent better in memory tests. 

The study concluded: “These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years.”

Better get cooking, ladies!  


Most of us are lucky if we have a cúpla focal, but one American teacher has put us all to shame by becoming a fully fledged Gaeilgeoir.

Shannon O’Neill was a final year Music Education student in Los Angeles when she was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

The condition affected her cognitive ability and both her short-term and long-term memory.  

Shannon described her diagnosis to TheJournal.ie: ‘’It’s like the flu, it can hit you at any time.”

‘’Being diagnosed with an illness, I sometimes explain it as, ‘I had to greet myself as a new friend’ because there are changes that you have to accept, and you need something to centre yourself around.’’

The condition inspired Shannon to reevaluate her life and she became determined to make something positive out of it.

So, in order to focus her mind and improve her memory, she stared learning Irish.

“I became really interested in the culture that I had no idea about. I started getting books out of the library on Irish culture, politics, literature and music.’’

Having fully completed DuoLingo’s Irish course Shannon now describes herself as an advanced beginner/intermediary speaker of Irish.

Shannon now plans to travel to Ireland and visit the Gealtacht regions in an attempt to improve her Irish.

‘’This summer, I’ll be using the rest of the money I’ve saved up for college to travel for three months around the different Gaeltachts and speak as much as possible.’’

After her trip, Shannon plans to return to her job as a substitute teacher and is hoping to incorporate the Irish language in to her lesson plans.

Shannon is a fifth generation Irish-American and admits she never felt entitled to claim her ancestry because she was so far removed, but we’ll welcome anyone who tackles the native language with open arms. 


The last thing we'd expect to happen after drinking alcohol is for our memory to IMPROVE, but scientists have discovered this can be the case!

Drinking moderate amounts of red wine can actually help to reduce old-age memory decline, according to researchers as Texas A&M University.

It's all down to an antioxidant known as resveratrol found in the skin of red grapes, as well as in peanuts and some berries. 

The discovery was made during a research project which scientists launched to examine how resveratrol can benefit heart health and slow the ageing process. It turns out that resveratrol can also positively benefit the hippocampus, the section of the brain responsible for memory and mood. 

It's thought the antioxidant might even be able to help those suffering for severe conditions like Alzheimer's, in which confusion and memory loss pays a big part. 

Of course, we're not suggesting you start carrying bottles if red wine around with you – just a tiny amount of resveratrol is needed to be beneficial – the amount found in two small glasses of wine.

So next time you have a cheeky Friday evening glass of vino, don't feel TOO bad about it!

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