A Food to Boost Your Mood

The Shift

I feel shift.

A change brewing, really.

And it fills my heart with hope and happiness.

For the first time in my career, I see patients taking an interest in integrative medicine. In treatments that combine the traditional with the non-traditional. In focusing on their wellness from a holistic point of view. In finding a better way to health.

I see the shift in the resurgence of farmer’s markets, CSAs, and natural food stores. I sense change when journalists from respectable and heavily-circulated publications write about integrative health.

Take Bethany Kandel, for example. Bethany researched and wrote an article published in the September issue of Prevention magazine titled, “20 Doctor-Recommended Natural Remedies: Medical Experts Share Their Most Trusted Nondrug Treatments for Everyday Ailments.” This article shares natural remedies that truly work (and have scientific support), don’t need a prescription, and are safe.

I’m grateful that Bethany included me in her group of medical experts to share a natural remedy that can help you. The remedy I shared can decrease anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings, and PMS symptoms. The best part? You can purchase it at the grocery store and make tasty dishes out of it.

The Natural Treatment for Anxiety, Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings, & PMS

What is this magic remedy?

Saffron, of course.

Saffron, which has been used for thousands of years medicinally and as a spice, comes from the dried stigma of Crocus sativus. For my science lovers, it works by modulating neurotransmitter levels (as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

The Evidence

A study of patients with depression compared placebo with saffron. After two weeks, patients in the saffron group had significantly lower depression scores (the HAM-D score was used). By six weeks, the depression score in the saffron group was even lower (better).

Another study aimed to determine the impact of saffron on PMS symptoms. This study compared patients treated with saffron to those treated with placebo. The saffron group had significantly fewer PMS symptoms than the placebo group.

Saffron has been studied extensively and there is even evidence to support use in Alzheimer’s disease.

Safety, Cautions, & Side Effects

Saffron is generally recognized as safe when ingested orally. Of note, saffron is not for those with bipolar disorder.

Everything you ingest (even water) has side effects. Some of the effects are good, but others are less desirable. Saffron is no exception.

The good? Decreased anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings, and PMS symptoms.

The less desirable? Orthostatic hypotension (decreased blood pressure when changing positions), contact dermatitis (rash), dry mouth, and change in appetite.

How to Use Saffron & Where to Buy

Dosing for saffron in the studies I discussed ranges from 15 to 30 mg daily and is used for up to 18 weeks.

If you’ve had saffron, you will probably agree that eating it in food is much more fun. Saffron is delicious in risotto, desserts, and my grandma’s special, saffron bread with currants. Another way to get saffron is through teas.

Saffron ranges in price, depending on where you purchase. I usually purchase mine from Trader Joe’s or Costco, where quality and price are good.

The Saffron Challenge

If you could use a little help with anxiety, depression, mood swings, or PMS, consider giving saffron a try. Or if you have a friend or loved one that could use saffron to boost their mood, please share this post. I’m here to help and would love my message to reach anyone who could benefit.

And if you are interested in the 19 other doctor-approved natural remedies, check out this month’s issues of Prevention magazine!