Have you ever had Saffron rice or risotto? Did you feel happy after? Perhaps it was how delicious the dish was, or perhaps it was the actual SPICE that was thrown in there! In India rumor has it that this spice called Saffron can make you feel happy! In fact if someone is in a really good mood they tend to say "he/she must have had too much Saffron today!" Research pointed to saffron as an anti-depressant, and new research published in the journal Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry confirms this pricey spice’s ability to alleviate the doldrums.
In the eight-week study, researchers compared saffron’s anti-depressant activity to fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac). Forty adults, meeting the criteria for major depression, participated. Group 1 patients received a capsule filled with 15 mg of saffron (C. sativus) morning and evening. Group 2 received 10 mg of fluoxetine morning and evening. At the end of the trial, researchers found that saffron had the same mood-boosting benefits as the drug.
So how much is 15 mg of saffron, anyway? That’s less than a tenth of a teaspoon. Most saffron is sold by the gram, at about $15.
While you can season your food with saffron, a good way to make this spice a mood-lifting mainstay in your diet is to mix it right into your favorite organic, chicken-based pre-made soups.