(TRFW News) Just 8% of people in Mexico experience depression.  This makes Mexico one of the counties that have the world’s lowest incidences of depression. Other countries that join Mexico are China and India. (1)

Countries with high poverty rates experience low rates of depression

According to a study published by the Mexican Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, 53.5 million Mexican’s were living under the poverty line in 2012.  This was half a million more than in 2010.  It was estimated that another 40 percent are at risk of crossing this line. (2) It is estimated that 29.8 percent of people in India live below the line of poverty. (6) The United States poverty rate is about 15 percent of the population. (7)

American’s living in poverty are more likely to struggle with health problems and depression.  Gallup indicates that 31 percent of Americans in poverty say they have been diagnosed with depression as opposed to the 15.8 percent of Americans diagnosed who do not live in poverty. (3)

Chili and turmeric help fight depression

Many cultures around the globe have been enjoying and cultivating hot spices for years.  Chilies, hot peppers, and other spices were used initially for medicinal purposes.  They are integral components of Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African cuisines.  The most common spice used world wide is the chili pepper.  Currently China, Turkey, Nigeria, Spain and Mexico are the largest producers of chili peppers.  (4)

Chili peppers contain Capsaicin, an odorless and flavorless chemical that has been shown to combat health issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, joint pain, depression and digestion problems. (4)

Turmeric also known as curcumin has been shown to be another safe and effective way of managing depression.  A research project performed at the Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India studied the impact of turmeric given to patients already diagnosed with major depressive disorder.  The study reported that Curcumin and Prozac were equivalent in their effectiveness of treating depression.  Curcumin comes without side effects of suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.  There are also a wide range of other benefits to consuming curcumin such as it’s neuroprotective properties that in some cases help restore brain functioning.  (5)

Spice up your life and your menu to increase feelings of wellness

Eating more spices such as chilies and turmeric may help American’s increase feelings of positive well-being and combat depression.  It is time for American’s to start spicing up our menu’s and when times are difficult, stress levels are high and emotions are low seek out cuisines that incorporate these mood boosting spices.

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.cbsnews.com
(2) www.ibtimes.com
(3) www.gallup.com
(4) wildfiresauce.com
(5) healthimpactnews.com
(6) www.livemint.com
(7) www.pewresearch.org

Image source: https://flic.kr/p/aqMtWK