This smoothie is one of my favourites and is one of the many amazing recipes in our online nutrition and depression program to help support a healthier and happier mood.
Coffee has many health benefits. We all know that coffee helps to boost mental alertness and focus, and it does this by preventing adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing alertness and attention (1). Since depression can often cause people to feel low motivation and fatigue this can help to give them that much needed boost.
Coffee also increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine (2). Dopamine is our “motivation” neurotransmitter to help get us up and going. So, it is no wonder coffee is often the go to beverage in the morning.
Interestingly enough research has found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can significantly improve mood compared with a placebo beverage, suggesting that coffee contains other compounds that influence mood (2).
Studies show that coffee is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the human diet!! Antioxidants are crucial to support healthy brain function and managing inflammation which help to better support mood! The polyphenols in coffee may prevent a number of conditions, such as heart disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In fact coffee drinkers have a 23–50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes and each daily cup is linked to a 7% reduced risk (3). Regularly drinking coffee may also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by 32–65% (4,5). So adding a shot of espresso or a teaspoon of instant coffee to your shake might be just want you need.
Avocado and milled flax seeds both contain good omega 3 fats and fiber which helps support blood sugar balance, reduce inflammation, boost energy and support neurotransmitters that can helps us feel happy. One study of 55 participants showed that the volume of gray matter in the human brain, particularly the parts associated with mood, was proportional to the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. (6)
Who doesn’t love chocolate!! Chocolate has mood boosting benefits, is high in antioxidants and is loaded with magnesium which is important to helps us feels relaxed and calm. Did you know if you tend to crave chocolate it could indicate that you may have a magnesium deficiency. Grate dark chocolate in or over your shake for some added mood boosting benefits!
Chocolate Coffee Shake
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 1/3 cup of avocados
- 1 tbsp of milled flax seed
- 1 tbsp of almond butter
- 1 tsp of instant coffee
- unsweetened almond milk or water