Whilst having a walk around the coffee-shop-culture of the UK as of recent, you may have come across some particularly colourful-looking lattes being served to the people. First, it was bright green – the time of the matcha latte, a tea-based drink that took Instagram by storm last year. Now, however, photos of a different ingredient entirely has taken over our social feeds – the ever-recognisable yellow of turmeric! Best known for its spiced flavour and prominent yellow colour, what is less well-known is the spice’s incredible medicinal properties, which begs the question – “can turmeric make you happy”?
From some of earliest records in history, the spice has been used as a medicinal herb to treat a whole host of ailments. As a member of the ginger family, tumeric is a tropical plant, thought to have originated in Southern India (still this region continues to be the world’s largest producer). By 800AD it had spread across most of Asia, including China and across much of Africa, which is thought to be a testament to just how useful the plant is.
The spice contains a compound known as curcumin (not to be confused with cumin, a different spice entirely) that is responsible for the plant’s endless health benefits, notably including its ability as a powerful anti-inflammatory, similar to ginger. Increasing the amount of turmeric in the diet is essential for those with chronic inflammation, aiding those with a whole host of ailments including IBS and Coeliac’s Disease. Curcumin is also an excellent antioxidant, dramatically increasing the body’s capacity for preventing oxidative damage.
The really exciting trait of curcumin, however, is its ability to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Don’t know what that is? No worries, we didn’t either before reading the first 10 pages of Google on the topic, but in an essence, it means turmeric may have the ability to reduce depression – which is nothing short of incredible. In a controlled trial, 60 individuals were put into three groups. One group took Prozac, the other group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both. After six weeks, it was declared that curcumin was just as effective as the antidepressant, with the group that took both feeling the best after the trial.
Since that admittedly small trial, there have been many studies released furthering the case for curcumin, and therein turmeric working effectively as an antidepressant. None of this, of course, is anything that hasn’t been known within the Asian community for years upon years. There are tons upon tons of tumeric-rich recipes out there within authentic Central Asian and Oriental cuisine, including our very own Coconut Chicken Laksa.
We’ll leave it up to you on whether you think Mr Lee’s Noodles could be scientifically classed as anti-depressant… But what we will say is each and every cup is packed full of enough gourmet, authentic flavour to put a smile on your face! Available on trains, planes and in coffee shops, you can also grab yourself a box of healthier, premium noodles both on Amazon and right here on our online shop.