A close up of a wooden plate with different colored powder
November 13, 2023
A close up of a wooden plate with different colored powder

Brain Healthy Ingredients: Garlic, Onions, Turmeric

Serves: 4

If you’re looking for brain health, make sure your curry powder contains turmeric. Even a small amount of curcumin—a compound in turmeric—can be beneficial to the brain. Scientists believe it’s one of the reasons India has much lower levels of dementia. In addition to curry powder, this recipe also includes onions and garlic. Onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which has been shown to protect against ischemic brain damage (a type of stroke) and may improve impaired memory and prevent depression. Garlic has also been shown to improve memory and cognitive performance in healthy and impaired subjects, and may stave off Alzheimer’s.

Use fresh, locally grown summer corn for the sweetest, tastiest result.


  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ head garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps yellow curry powder
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, diced
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade (rolled up and sliced into thin strips)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Freshly minced chili to taste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for grilling and sautéing


  1. Rub corn with olive oil and salt to taste. Heat a charcoal or flame grill. Using tongs, grill the corn until blistered and brown. Set aside to cool, then hold corn upright over a place and carefully slice the kernels off the cob with a knife.
  2. Meanwhile, sweat the onions in a pot with a bit of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook until fragrant. Add the bell peppers and sweat for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add grilled corn and chicken or vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower to medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Adjust with more water if desired.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat. Add the basil, chili, lime zest and juice, and brown sugar.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve hot, garnished with thinly sliced pepper and basil.