A big thank you to everyone who came out to Tuesday night's talk at the Bedford Public Library on Naturopathic approaches to anxiety and depression. It was an amazing turnout and a room full of excellent questions!
If you didn't get a chance to jot down my smoothie recipe, here it is:
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup organic mixed berries
- 1 scoop organic whey protein isolate
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp MCT oil
- 1 dash chili pepper powder
Combine above ingredients into blender and blend away until fully incorporated. Feel free to add in more almond milk to desired consistency.
Why is this smoothie so great for your brain? Let me explain.
Almond milk is a source of magnesium, an NMDA receptor antagonist. It's excellent for helping to soothe "frayed nerves" and can exhibit antidepressant activity.
Mixed berries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that can help protect our bodies against free radical damage. Blueberries have also been shown to protect a part of the brain that manufactures dopamine and are a source of stress-busting vitamin C.
Organic whey protein isolate contains a balanced amino acid profile (which you need to support neurotransmitter production) but most notably contains cysteine, an amino acid that boosts production of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is required for the body's natural "detoxification" centres to work properly. Not to mention it can also help decrease inflammation.
Avocado is a great source of tryptophan and vitamin B6, both of which are required for the synthesis of serotonin in the brain.
Cacao powder contains phenylethylamine, a molecule involved in boosting endorphins and serotonin in the brain. It also contains the nerve-calming amino acid L-theanine as well as zinc. Zinc is a crucial cofactor in the making of not only neurotransmitters but digestive enzymes and stomach acid.
MCT oil is an easily-absorbable fuel source for the brain and body and adding a healthy fat to a smoothie helps prevent any unwanted blood glucose spikes.
Chili pepper powder contains capsaicin, a molecule that can boost endorphins, making us feel happy and fabulous.
And trust me, it tastes as good as it's going to make you feel.