By Judy Harm


Good brain health begins with herbs and spices you may already have in your cupboard or spice rack. So spice things up to keep your brain functioning well.


A sprinkle of cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels in the body, sending healthy signals to the brain. Studies show that cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a kind of brain tonic. A ‘swize’l of the cinnamon stick in your tea helps in relief of nervous tension and prevents memory loss. Just sip and relax. The irresistible scent of cinnamon may also boost cognitive function, memory, performance of certain tasks as well as alertness and concentration. What a great excuse to enjoy cinnamon toast while doing your homework!


Rosemary is a fragrant spice that is also an antioxidant. It improves digestion, brain function and stimulates the immune system. The ancient Greeks associated this delicious herb with good memory function and students would often put rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams. Sprinkle rosemary on fish or chicken, put it in your tomato-based recipes or add some to your scrambled eggs. Nibble your way to better brain health!


Savory sage is another herb with a variety of antioxidants including enzymes, oils, flavanoids and phenolic acids. These components of sage give it a unique capacity for providing benefits like removing free radials from the brain. Sage is said to offer powerful protection against all types of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration and even Alzeimers. Sage has also been known to help with the bothersome night sweats and hot flashes of menopause. Use sage freely in gravies, beans, chicken and other poultry, omelets, all tomato dishes, and especially in the stuffing of a roasted turkey.


Tasty thyme too supports brain health as an antioxidant and helps protect the brain against age-related loss of cognitive function. Add some thyme to your favorite recipes to promote health in your circulatory system and increase that blood flow to the brain.  Thyme  contains a wide variety of nutrients including B-complex vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid,  manganese, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and selenium. Add a few pinches to your pizza,vegetables, soups and all tomato dishes, especially sauces. Have a good thyme cooking for great health.


Try this most delicious recipe to incorporate a couple of these spices:


 Pizza Gondolas


Take a few organic Roma tomatoes, cut it in half, and hollow out centers. Mix organic cream cheese with soft goat cheese, cut up some shallots, fresh rosemary and thyme. mix all together. scoop into tomato halves, and place a slice of provolone cheese on top. Sprinkle with sea salt, place on baking sheet and place under broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, checking often. Remove when it bubbles and is sightly brown. Enjoy as treats, appetizers or the main course.