Tapping into a better mood can feel like a serious endeavor when we’re on the other side. We’re sharing seven ingredients proven to naturally perk us up and keep us coasting. Get the breakdown on these mood boosters from Dr. Michael Miller of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Board, plus a turmeric tea recipe to bring some scientifically-backed brightness to these gloomy winter months…
Many of us experience the winter blues this time of year when the days are short and energy levels are low. For my patients, I prescribe the following seven ingredients to help give them a daily boost. I’m also sharing my favorite tea that I drink throughout winter. Integrate these ingredients into your meals throughout the day, or if you prefer, find these mood and energy enhancers in my favorite Pressed Juicery products (listed in parenthesis).
Cacao (Chocolate Almond):
Cacao beans are among the richest natural source of antioxidant polyphenols that, together with their high content of magnesium, improve blood flow to our brain and provide increased focus and concentration. Cacao beans also contain the chemical anandamide that is similar in composition to marijuana’s THC and may account for the euphoric mood that is commonly associated with chocolate consumption.
Cardamom (Spiced Almond):
This mood-elevating spice contains cineole, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Cardamom can lower heart rate and blood pressure but is also a mood enhancer. In a study of cigarette smokers trying to kick the habit, chewing gum flavored with cardamom reduced the anxiety and depression caused by cigarette withdrawal.
Cinnamon (Coconut Cinnamon):
Cinnamon is one of my favorite recommendations to patients. In addition to helping to regulate blood-glucose levels and lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, cinnamon also boosts memory and alertness. Without question, it will reduce irritability and put you in a better mood.
Cayenne (Greens 4):
Cayenne contains the powerful anti-inflammatory/antioxidant capsaicin that not only enhances fat burning but also has an appetite-suppressant effect. Another very cool and recently discovered property is cayenne’s protection against aging and age-related diseases. It is one of the most powerful endorphin releasers and will energize you during the winter doldrums.
Ginger (Roots 3):
Exciting research shows that ginger inhibits growth and buildup of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s Disease. Ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties also reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain and migraines. By increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, ginger is also among the best natural sources for an uplifting mood.
Turmeric is the new kale. It contains curcumin, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds that fights cancer, improves vascular health and regulates blood-glucose levels. Turmeric has also been shown to reduce episodes of depression and may play a role in degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease. You can also make my winter sun turmeric tea below. I keep a jar of the paste on my desk and just add hot water, lemon and sometimes ginger or cayenne pepper. Could not be easier!
Vanilla Bean (Matcha + Hemp):
The chemical vanilloid (similar to capsaicin) has antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties that may slow cellular aging. Like cacao, the vanilla bean is also an aphrodisiac that enhances arousal and mood, and a recent study found that it reduces anxiety and claustrophobia.
Winter Sun Turmeric Tea
For the paste:
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
For the tea:
1 tsp paste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Make a paste using honey and turmeric. Give a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper and stir to combine.
To make the tea, take paste and place in mug. Pour hot water over and add a squeeze of lemon. (If you want extra heat, add cayenne pepper.)
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.