It is an unfortunate statistic that as many as 1 in 2 people will experience a mental health issue at one time in their lives.
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The reasons for these illnesses and crises are varied but can be linked to environmental factors, genetics, and lifestyle choices. Of course, if you don’t have a great diet, then it is highly likely that your mental health will begin to suffer, and you are at a higher risk of developing long-term mental health issues.
It is worth noting that while most people in 2023 will experience a depressive or anxiety-based episode, there is generally no ‘cure-all’ pill or spice to treat mental health. As it is a multi-faceted issue, it needs to be approached from multiple angles, which can ensure that those who may have the worst mental health concerns will experience the best outcome.
Going back to diet, there are many things that can be added to someone’s diet that have been found to improve mental well-being. In the early 2000s, the diet of choice was based on the Mediterranean diet and was high in natural oils and fish. Then, society moved on to a cleaner or organic diet, stating that artificial foods would have a poor impact on health. However, the answer to balancing your mental well-being with your diet may be simpler than this and may be found in spices.
Yes, by consuming a few spices with your food, you may find that your anxiety reduces and your sleep patterns improve, aiding your mental well-being. The best part? Spices are affordable and can be used sparingly, even if you are looking for fast results.
So, this article will walk you through some of the most popular spices linked to improvements in mental well-being to help you change your diet and mindset.
Turmeric has been in the media recently, primarily because the main ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been linked to antidepressant properties. Indeed, studies that have looked into turmeric and its effects on mice and rats have found that it seems to help with increasing levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, both of which are linked to mood regulation and creativity. Also, lower levels of both of these neurotransmitters have been linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
There is another school of thought that has put forward the idea that depression and anxiety may be due to inflammation of the brain tissues. Turmeric and curcumin are known for having anti-inflammatory properties, and so, by reducing the inflammatory responses linked to depression in the brain, this spice may help to protect the brain from mental health issues and boost overall well-being.
Lastly, buying bulk spices high in curcumin can also help increase the levels of BDNF, which is a protein factor in the brain. This protein has been linked to better brain function, as well as the growth of new neurons. Much like serotonin and dopamine, low levels of BDNF have been implicated in depression, so if you eat a lot of turmeric, chances are that it will help with your mental well-being.
A beautiful and fragrant spice, saffron has been implicated for its role in aiding mental well-being.
Research has found that saffron has been found to have a positive impact on the levels of serotonin in the brain, which has long been linked by empirical research to higher levels of mood, better sleep, and overall better cognitive function. So, it may even work in a similar way to antidepressant medication. It has also been found to have antioxidant properties, which can prevent the brain from succumbing to oxidative stress. This kind of stress is linked heavily to mental health issues, such as treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, so by incorporating saffron into your diet, you may be able to resolve these issues with more success.
However, it may be best to price saffron before you buy it as, historically, it has been on par with gold in its weight per gram!
Not only does it taste great on seasonal coffees with whipped cream, but cinnamon has also been found to be an herb that can help manage mental health issues.
It is a spice that has not had as much research conducted into its effects on mental health, but it has been found to impact other parts of the body’s function that can help improve mental well-being. For instance, cinnamon has been found to help balance blood sugar levels, which can help to improve insulin sensitivity. This prevents mood swings and blood sugar crashes, which can impact poorly on mental health.
Cinnamon is also high in antioxidants, which, much like saffron, prevent oxidative stress in the brain. This can prevent swelling in the brain cancers, and, of course, it can help prevent cognitive decline.
A spice linked to banishing evil spirits via smudging, sage has many benefits to mental health, too, which go far beyond the calming aroma released when it is burned.
Sage is a member of the salvia family, which has long been linked to boosting mental health, especially when research into salvia divinorum has yielded interesting results related to mood elevation. Sage, on its own, contains numerous brain-benefiting compounds, including rosmarinic acid. This acid has been found to support a healthy inflammation response, which can ward off inflammatory-related mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Rosmarinic acid has also been linked to helping with longer-lasting cognitive function and a reduction in the symptoms of cognitive decline.
Next, sage contains carnosol, which is a powerful antioxidant. Again, this can fight off oxidants that can lead to cancer and protect the brain from secondary swelling and inflammation.Of course, while all of these spices show promise in the area of mental health, it is important to consider that their impact will likely vary based on individual factors. If you are suffering from mental health issues, please seek professional advice before altering your diet.
- Spices of India – Name List With Pictures And Their Uses
- 8 Spices of India That Rule The Indian Kitchen
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