June 22, 2016
In a hectic world dominated by Big Pharma, it is often tempting for patients and health care providers alike to treat stress and mental issues with medications that oftentimes will only make matters worse.
But the good news is there are alternatives – natural alternatives, of course – to dangerous mood-altering drugs – foods and spices that can boost your mood and reverse even chronic depression.
As noted by the MalayMail Online, a number of studies as well as many nutritional publications agree that certain foods have the ability to improve our moods. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, are well-known mood boosters. But other foods can have different mental benefits.
Certain herbs and spices also tend to have naturally occurring antidepressant benefits, which will give mind and body a healthy boost with a variety of flavors. Below is a closer examination of five top ingredients right from your spice rack that will help improve your mood and keep you free from the clutches of Big Pharma:
Saffron: The aroma of saffron alone can take you away to a much better place. In traditional Eastern medicine it is considered to be the spice of happiness and for good reason: A 2015 Iranian study found that saffron may even have the very same effects as a prescription anti-depressant.
In particular saffron is believed to hone in on issues directly related to foul mood and depression, but also food-related behavioral problems like over-snacking between meals. Saffron is frequently used in Indian cuisine, but it is also a prime addition to Spanish paella, Italian risotto and bouillabaisse fish soup from the south of France. Note, though, that it should not be ingested by women who are pregnant and children under six.
Cinnamon: A heady aroma, cinnamon is definitely unique in its ability to generate good feelings. Whether you are using cinnamon sticks or ground spice, it is an ingredient that definitely stimulates the brain. But researchers say it can also heighten concentration, memory and attention. What’s more, cinnamon can be helpful in reducing cravings for unhealthy sugar.
In addition, combine cinnamon with banana and stir into a tea and you get a great sleep aid without the need of pharmaceutical intervention. Here is a great recipe.
Turmeric: This yellow spice not only brightens up any dish it also brightens our mood. While it is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, turmeric also stimulates release of serotonin, which is your body’s natural mood enhancer.
In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that turmeric may actually be more effective at reducing depression than common anti-depressant drugs.
Rosemary: It isn’t just a delicious addition to many Mediterranean dishes – rosemary has a great many medical benefits. For instance, if you’re suffering from mental fatigue, burn-out from a job or activity, or depression, rosemary can reliably reverse such conditions. Rosemary also helps reduce insomnia and can calm frayed nerves.
As noted by Medical News Today:
Hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties, we still have a lot to learn about the effects of rosemary. Now researchers writing in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, published by SAGE, have shown for the first time that blood levels of a rosemary oil component correlate with improved cognitive performance.
Thyme: Thyme is a wonderfully flavorful ingredient for many dishes but it is a staple of Provencal cuisine and is often paired with robust tomato dishes. And like rosemary, thyme is great when it comes to alleviating mental stress, insomnia and other depressive conditions. Besides containing lithium, a mineral that possesses anti-depressant qualities, thyme also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to make serotonin, an essential element for sleep.
In addition, thyme stimulates your mind and calms your nerves.