There’s absolutely no reason why curcumin – the pigment that gives the curry spice turmeric its bright yellow-orange colour – shouldn’t be called a super-antioxidant. In the past few years alone, it has been linked to helping alleviate arthritis pain, putting the lid on diabetes and even showing potential in treating heart disease and stroke.
So, it’s no wonder that a recent study has found that it may be a powerful mood-booster too.
Lifting your spirits
In a recent Australian study, researchers recruited 123 adults suffering with major depressive disorder. The participants were randomly assigned to four different groups. The groups were given low-dose curcumin extract (250 mg twice daily), high-dose curcumin extract (500 mg twice daily), a combination of low-dose curcumin and saffron extract (15 mg twice a day) and a placebo, respectively, for three months.
The results of the study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, showed that the participants in the two groups receiving curcumin had improvements in both depression and anxiety scores. Saffron did not make a significant difference. The researchers concluded that both low and high doses are helpful, especially against atypical depression.
Turmeric is most commonly found in Indian curries – although you can also find it as an ingredient in a number of cold-pressed juices and other products at your local health food store.
You can try adding it to your own recipes for soups, stews, and sauces – and you don’t even have to make it spicy in order for it to work.
Some people don’t like the flavour – so, if you’d rather not eat this miracle spice, consider a curcumin supplement. You can find one from a quality maker at your local health food store.
Just remember that curcumin actually needs FAT to be absorbed into your body – so it’s best to take it with food. In addition, even though curcumin is a natural compound, some people react badly to it. They may break out in the hives typical of an allergic reaction or they may experience digestive upset. People taking the anticoagulant warfarin should not add curcumin to their regimen.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Efficacy of curcumin, and a saffron/curcumin combination for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(16)31021-7/abstract