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7 Mood-Boosting Smoothie Recipes

7 Mood-Boosting Smoothie Recipes

We believe that anything that helps us feel better will help our skin look better too.

Many researchers believe that an imbalance of serotonin levels may affect our mood and can thus lead to depression or “the blues”. 

The brain uses the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter largely responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.

Although simply eating foods high in tryptophan won’t boost serotonin on their own, if we add a few carbs to tryptophan-rich foods it’s possible that we can “trick” the system.

Carbs cause the body to release more insulin, which promotes amino acid absorption and transports tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier.

In one study, carbohydrates eaten 3 hours after a protein meal, however, did raise brain tryptophan and serotonin 2 hours later.

Their conclusion is that: “Brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis are thus responsive to the sequential ingestion of protein and carbohydrate meals if there is a sufficient interval between meals.”

Another study found, that consuming tryptophan or a carbohydrate-rich, protein-poor meal increases brain levels of tryptophan and serotonin. Although a carbohydrate meal itself lacks tryptophan, the meal causes insulin to be secreted.

Insulin, in turn, "decreases plasma levels of large neutral amino acids that would ordinarily compete with tryptophan for transport across the blood-brain barrier".

When mixing high-tryptophan foods with carbs, you might get a serotonin boost. It’s worth a shot.

The following smoothie recipes contain carbs + tryptophan-rich ingredients. (Drink on an empty stomach, like 3 hours after breakfast)

Feel free to adjust proportions and sweeten as desired.

1. TAHINI BANANA
2 frozen bananas, 2 TB unsalted tahini, 1 1/2 cup rice milk, 1/2 avocado, 1 TB chia seeds, 1 TB flaxseed oil, 2 1/2 cups ice

2. CACAO + CAULIFLOWER (this will blow your mind!)
3 cups steamed (frozen) cauliflower, 1 TB cacao powder, 1/2 avocado, 1 1/2 cups rice milk, 1/4 C pitted Medjool dates (about 4-5), 1 TB flaxseed oil.

3. PINEAPPLE WATERCRESS
1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 cup ripe pear, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup watercress, 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice, 2 TB chia seeds, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 2 cups ice.

4. KEY LIME
2 frozen bananas, 2 tsp lime zest, 2 TB hemp seeds, 1 TB flaxseed oil, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 2 cups coconut water, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup packed spinach, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime

5. APPLE + BROCCOLI (this one will surprise you!)
3 cups steamed (frozen) broccoli, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/4 c fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups apple juice, 1 avocado, 1 TB flaxseed oil.

6. CHOCOLATE + KALE
2 frozen bananas, 1 1/2 cups kale, 3 TB cacao powder, 1 1/2 cups rice milk, 3-4 pitted Medjool dates, 1 TB flaxseed oil, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tsp spirulina.

7. TROPICAL PARTY
½ head romaine, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, 1 avocado, 1 inch ginger, 2-3 cups water.

 

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking



1. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 61, Issue 2, February 1995, Pages 312–319 M H Fernstrom 1, J D Fernstrom. Brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis remain responsive to food consumption after the ingestion of sequential meals

2. National Library of Medicine. Volume: 3 issue: 1-2, page(s): 55-67 Issue published: January 1, 1984. Bonnie Spring, PhD. Recent research on the behavioral effects of tryptophan and carbohydrate

 

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