According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2005 and 2006, “more than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years of age and older reported current depression.” Depression can range from symptoms like low energy, weight gain, frequent sadness, and general loss of interest in usual activities, to more intense affections like trouble concentrating and thoughts of self-harm.
While you should always, always contact your doctor before attempting to treat either mild or major depressive symptoms, there is good news out there for people who are looking for natural ways to combat depression.
Scientific Studies On Turmeric And Depression
According to a recently published review in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, which looked at over 70 studies on turmeric and neuropsychiatric disorders, turmeric truly does have a positive effect on depression symptoms.
“It is concluded that curcumin [the active ingredient in turmeric] is a promising, natural agent” for the treatment of several neurological disorders, explains the review, which goes on to say that, “currently the greatest support for the efficacy of curcumin is for the treatment of major depressive disorder.”
While more scientific investigation is needed, turmeric remains one of the most studied natural depression aids, and highlights the power of foods when it comes to whole body wellness.
How Does Turmeric Help With Depression?
In addition to lowering inflammation in the body (which helps alleviate the symptoms of many chronic conditions that can cause depressive symptoms to worsen), curcumin can help balance serotonin, dopamine, and other essential chemicals in the body and brain.
There is also research into curcumin’s ability to balance out “leaky gut” issues, and since many physical and mental issues can stem from an uneven digestion, balancing our gut flora should be our number one priority for overall health.
The best way to make sure you’re getting all the benefits from turmeric is to take it with black pepper, which helps enhance its bioavailability. Because it’s fat soluble (meaning it fully dissolves when taken with a fat source), it’s best to take turmeric with a natural source of fat (nut milks, coconut milks, meat, avocados, etc).
Turmeric Smoothie Recipes
If you have a hard time ingesting turmeric capsules, or even turmeric root alone, consider mixing it into a smoothie! (And don’t worry, a small bit of black pepper blended into these recipes won’t mess up the taste at all.)
Temple Turmeric Golden Milk
With many, many scientific studies boasting the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric root, it remains one of the most helpful superfoods to consume on a daily basis. Temple Turmeric, an ethically-minded company that sources their turmeric root from Hawaii, creates organic, non-GMO turmeric drinks that give both your immune system and your overworked muscles a helping hand. Pro tip: golden milk is usually warm. If you have a high powered blender such as a vitamix, skip the ice and let the blender run for 4-5 minutes. The smoothie will automatically heat up. If you don’t have a high powered blender, heat the smoothie in a saucepan so it’s hot, but not boiling. Of course, you can always add ice and have a cold smoothie. Both options are delicious!
Orange Turmeric Gumdrop
A potent anti-inflammatory, turmeric has been studied as a natural defense against everything from cancer to arthritis - it’s definitely what you could call a “superfood.” The immune boosting power of this smoothie is increased by adding orange, banana and pineapple, and walnuts bring a touch of healthy fat and protein. Start your morning off bright and cheerful, and scare those wrinkles away!
Turmeric Ginger Refresh
Turmeric and ginger have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, protecting your immune and nervous system, as well as your joints and muscles. The best way to get the full benefits of turmeric is to combine it with a bit of healthy fat, which is why we’ve included hemp seeds (full of Omega-3s and Omega-6 fatty acids). Add in a bunch of vitamin C from an orange and a few kumquats, and a creamy, healthy carb base of yellow squash (which also has vitamin A and manganese), and you’ve got a low-fat snack that does your body a whole lot of good!
Yellow Turmeric Ginger
This brilliantly bright yellow-orange blend is packed with nutrients. Yellow squash is a great source of iron and folate. It also provides manganese, which helps maintain healthy bone structure and calcium absorption. Kumquats are an amazing flavor bomb. We like to call them nature’s Sour Patch Kids. Thier skin is so thin, it doesn’t need to be peeled, just toss them right in the blender. Turmeric is a powerful superfood that contains several compounds with medicinal properties. Often used in curry flavoring, turmeric is good for brain function, and can help decrease inflammation.
Orange you glad this smoothie is coming your way? This bright orange smoothie will wake you and make you feel amazing! Turmeric is one of those awesome superfoods that doesn’t get a lot of attention. It contains curcumin, which is thought to be the primary pharmaceutical agent in the spice. It promotes anti-inflammation and may give relief to rheumatoid arthritis. The lemon and turmeric definitely add a nice zing while the sunflower seeds adds a touch of creaminess.