(Natural News) A Japanese study indicated that the essential oil of lemons and other citrus fruits might relieve stress better than pharmaceutical drugs. It showed that people who smelled yuzu experienced considerable improvements in anger, anxiety, confusion, and depression. The effects appeared as early as 10 minutes after they began inhaling the fragrance of the citrus fruit.
Researchers at Shitennoji University investigated the mood-boosting effects of the scent of yuzu (Citrus junos). Yuzu is a citrus fruit native to Japan with a very tart taste.
For their randomized controlled crossover study, the researchers recruited healthy women with an average age of 20.5 years. When the participants entered the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle, they got exposed to the scent of yuzu. They also got to smell unscented water during another occasion – the data from this latter served as control.
Before and after their aromatic stimulation, the participants accomplished a questionnaire on their mood. Their feedback got analyzed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS).
Furthermore, the Shitennoji researchers evaluated the activity of the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response of the body. They measured the amount of salivary chromogranin A secreted by participants before and after exposure to essential oils in the scent of yuzu. (Related: Start your day right by drinking lemon water.)
Boost mood with the essential oils in the scent of yuzu and other citrus fruit
Their findings showed that inhaling the yuzu scent for 10 minutes led to considerable reductions in salivary chromogranin A. The concentration of the stress-related substance dropped even further 30 minutes after the initial inhalation of the essential oils.
POMS-based analysis of the questionnaire results showed that exposure to the aromatic yuzu oil lowered the total mood disturbance. The score served as an overall measurement of the emotional state of a person.
The essential oil of yuzu also improved the subscores of the following emotional systems – tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, and confusion. The improvements in mood lasted for up to 30 minutes after exposure to yuzu scent.
The researchers concluded that the aromatic effects of yuzu might improve negative emotional stress. By extension, the essential oils of the citrus fruit reduced the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. It helped bring the body out of the stressful state of the fight-or-flight response and restored normal functions.
Current trends in healthy foods and diets
In other health-related news, experts aired their predictions about the foods and diets set to trend in 2019. For example, to win the war on food waste, consumers may accept ugly-looking plant produce and include more scraps in recipes. They may also consume more jackfruit as an alternative to meat.
People with nut allergies may want to try the new seed butter made from tahini, pumpkin, and watermelon. Check the labels for added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients.
Some experts claim it is impractical to count the number of calories in meals and diets. They say most people can not access indirect calorimetry. They also warn about the large margin of error of nutrition labels. They point out that there is no way to determine the exact amount of calories absorbed by the body.
Instead, they urge consumers to cook a larger variety of wholesome ingredients. They also advise people to eat more mindfully.
On the subject of dieting, individual people react differently to different diets. If a diet appears to be working, stick to that.
Finally, taking up hot yoga does not automatically translate to a huge loss in weight or the appearance of chiseled abs. However, it will improve breathing and thoughts, thereby eliminating anxiety and clearing up the mind.