Crunchy Yogurt Clusters

Crunchy Yogurt Clusters

Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

Many of us crave for sweet treats when we’re feeling down. While sweets can temporarily raise serotonin in the short-term, long-term sweets only serve to fuel our low mood by increasing inflammation and blood sugar imbalances, which can both negatively impact mood.

You will be surprised to know that this delicious treat is loaded with the mood-boosting amino acid tryptophan! Plus, it’s a much healthier option than reaching for candy bars or cookies. Here’s why…

Cashews are actually one of the best sources of the amino acid tryptophan among all plant-based foods with 1000-2000 milligrams per 1/4 cup serving. This amino acid is critical for improving the uptake of serotonin in the brain and acts as a direct precursor to the anti-depressant hormone itself. Cashews are a tiny package of iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, protein, important amino acids, and even omega 3 fats. All of these nutrients directly ward off mild depression and anxiety naturally.

Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with high levels of tryptophan. This amino acid is essential for the production of serotonin, which in turn gets converted into melatonin. This hormone plays a vital role in regulation of behaviour along with exerting positive effects on sleep, mood, appetite and pain. So, if you want a good night’s rest, which can often be difficult for people with depression, then eat a handful of pumpkin seeds before bed along with a small fruit. They also contain an amino acid cucurbitin, which acts as an antibacterial agent eliminating intestinal worms from the digestive system. Supporting a healthy gut is crucial for supporting a healthy mood. Link to gut and mental health article. 

Greek yoghurt contains lactobacillus, which is important for gut health but has also been shown to support healthy mood. Researchers have discovered a specific mechanism for how the lactobacillus bacteria affect mood, providing a direct link between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health. One study found that the amount of lactobacillus in the gut affects the level of a metabolite in the blood – called kynurenine – which has been shown to drive depression. When lactobacillus was diminished in the gut, the levels of kynurenine went up, and depression symptoms set in (1). 

Berriesincluding cranberries, pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combatting oxidative stress—an imbalance of harmful compounds known as free radicals in your body (2). They’re particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their red-purple-blue colours. One study associated a diet rich in anthocyanins with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms (3). 

So, in only 5 minutes of prep – you can have a mood-boosting, sweet-treat to help keep cravings at bay while supporting your mood.

 

References

  1. https://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/could-eating-yoghurt-help-treat-depression-and-anxiety/story-
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29662448/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29695122/

 

Crunchy Yogurt Clusters

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup Greek Yogurt plain
  • ½ cup Almonds
  • ¼ cup Cashews
  • ¼ cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ cup Dried Cranberries unsweetened

Instructions
 

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone mat
  • Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Scoop the mixture and transfer to the lined baking sheet, forming clusters of about 2 to 2.5 inches.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition
Amount per serving:
Calories – 482
Carbs - 5g
Fiber - 1g
Sugars - 2g
Protein - 4g
Fat - 6g
Pear Spice Overnight Oats

Pear Spice Overnight Oats

Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

Can a bowl of porridge a day can keep the blues at bay? Well, with all the therapeutic ingredients for gut and mental health, this Pear Spice Overnight Oats recipe is a great option!

Chia seeds are loaded with good fats and are high in fiber and protein. It is important to begin your day with adequate protein and good fats because they help lift and stabilize our mood and cognitive function. Chia seeds also contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, with the high fibre content chia seeds support a healthy gut.

Cinnamon has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels, which is important for people struggling with depression as drops in blood sugars can contribute to irritability, low mood, difficulty focusing and insomnia. One of the most important active ingredients in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde, which is used in flavorings and fragrances and may be responsible for some of cinnamon’s health benefits. Cinnamon also has antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Over a period of time, oats can act as a nerve tonic, reducing stress and aiding relaxation. If you use the chunky, whole grain variety, you’ll also provide your body with valuable fibre. Oats also contain loads of B vitamins, which are important to help produce neurotransmitters to support a healthy mood. Oats are a good slow-release carb on the glycaemic index (to stave off hunger and cravings) – and it’s a great means of reducing cholesterol.

Tahini contains compounds that may improve brain health and decrease your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Sesame seed components have been shown to protect human brain and nerve cells from free radical damage (1). Sesame seed antioxidants can cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning they can leave your bloodstream and directly affect your brain and central nervous system (2). Additionally, about 50% of the fat in tahini comes from monounsaturated fatty acids. These have anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to a decreased risk of chronic disease such as depression.

Lastly, with the addition of plain kefir (coconut kefir is an alternative if you have a dairy sensitivity) this dish contains plenty of probiotics, aka “good bacteria” to support a diverse microbiome in our gut which in turn improves mental health.

Give it a try! Chock full of therapeutic ingredients and potential health benefits, this Pear Spice Overnight Oats recipe is easy to whip up in less than 5 minutes. That’s value for your time! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27353539/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30475504/

Pear Spice Overnight Oats

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Plain Kefir
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Oats rolled
  • 2 tbsps Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 2 tbsps Chia Seed
  • 2 Pears sliced and divided
  • ¼ cup Tahini

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the kefir, water, oats, honey, cinnamon, allspice, chia and half of the sliced pear. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, divide into bowls or individual containers and top with tahini and the remaining pears. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition
Amount per serving:
Calories – 426
Carbs - 65g
Fiber - 10g
Sugars - 26g
Protein - 15g
Fat - 14g
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© 2020 Koru Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Koru Nutrition logo 2

© 2020 Koru Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved.