Turmeric is the wonder spice which has endless health benefits. It is one of the most common ingredients in the Indian kitchens and can be used in almost all dishes and recipes. Apart from helping in dealing with cough and cold, turmeric can help in dealing with depression as well. Most of the health benefits of turmeric can be credited to the compound curcumin, which has both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory bodies. A recent progression of turmeric is its effect on people dealing with depression. Turmeric can help in dealing with depression and even major depressive disorder (MDD).
How turmeric helps in dealing with depression
Antioxidants in curcumin protect the body from damage caused by free radicals in the body. These free radicals are also capable of causing inflammation in the body. They help in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been found to be linked with depression. Inflammation might exacerbate depression and vice versa. Antioxidants in curcumin can reduce symptoms of depression.
We ask nutritionist Pooja Malhotra is turmeric can help in treating depression, and she says, “The bio active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin which has many useful health properties. It also has an anti-inflammatory action which may have an anti-depressant action. It has been suggested by a few studies, yet its role in therapeutic treatment of depression is not fully established and needs to be investigated. The bottom line is that turmeric has innumerous health benefits.”
When used with other herbs such as saffron, turmeric can be more effective in reducing depression symptoms. Furthermore, curcumin can increase effectiveness of anti-depressants, thus helping in dealing with depression in a better way.
While turmeric cannot be claimed to be a standalone treatment for depression, it can help in improving the condition when combined with other treatments. Turmeric should not be used in place of prescribed anti-depressants and medications for depression. Furthermore, change in symptoms cannot be experienced right away. It might take a while before turmeric shows its affects in reducing depression symptoms.
Including turmeric in your diet can be quite simple. As mentioned above, turmeric can be added to almost all dishes. Most Indian dishes in fact, have turmeric as an essential ingredient. Apart from imparting interesting colour to the dish, it also adds exceptional flavour to it.
However, curcumin content in turmeric cooking powder is quite less. You might have to look for high-curcumin alternative of regular turmeric powder. Amount of curcumin in turmeric products is different in different products. Even 1 tsp of high-curcumin turmeric can be helpful for dealing with depression.
Experts also suggest intake of turmeric supplements available in health stores or online shopping stores. Avoid those supplements which do not mention their curcumin content. Nonetheless, it has to be kept in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t approve of supplements. Whenever you’re buying supplements, make sure that they are only from a trusted manufacturer.
Combine it with black pepper
The effects of turmeric come to be the best when combined with black pepper. Piperine compound in black pepper enhances absorption of curcumin. There have been numerous studies which talk about benefits of black pepper and turmeric together. Curcumin is more effective when combined with piperine. You can add black pepper to the meals in which you add turmeric.
There can be some side effects
Therapeutic use of spices like turmeric and black pepper can have certain side effects like vomiting, nausea or an upset stomach. These side effects can be avoided by using the spices in smaller dosages initially. In case you are on anti-depressants, do talk to your doctor about dosages in which you should include turmeric and black pepper in your diet. Do take care of the dosage in case you’re pregnant. People with gallstones, bile duct dysfunction or low blood pressure should also keep a check on the dosage of turmeric for treating depression.
In case of any unusual or severe symptoms, do visit your doctor. This is especially for those who are recovering from depression or are replacing medication with herbs.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.
Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.
Try these healthy breakfast options right now!
1. Stuffed rotis
Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.
2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita
Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.
3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati
Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.
4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi
Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter
Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.
Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter
Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.
Ginger, honey, lemon tea:
Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.
Hot mulled cider:
All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.
Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:
Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.
Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.
Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests
Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.
Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.
According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.
The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.
“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.
According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.