Curry lovers, take note:
Your favourite meal may make you happier. When Indian researchers gave people with depression an antidepressant or a supplement containing curcumin (an extract of the herb turmeric, which is commonly used in curries) for six weeks, the two groups experienced similar improvements in symptoms (65 percent and 63 percent, respectively) – and the extract caused fewer side effects.
“Curcumin has been used for thousands of years, but only in the last two decades have almost 7,000 reports been published attempting to explain how it works,” says Bharat Aggarwal, Ph.D., professor of experimental therapeutics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas. “Recently we discovered it’s an anti-inflammatory.” That explains the link to depression (inflammation contributes to the condition), as well as its efficacy at treating or preventing cancer, diabetes, and muscle and joint pain.
Unless you consume a curry heavy diet, you’ll struggle to eat enough turmeric to reap the benefits. Look for a supplement that contains BCM-95.