Had a bad day? Reaching for the wine? Feeling stressed/anxious/depressed? Wired? Suffering from PMS or menopausal symptoms? Craving chocolate?
Here's a coffee (and alcohol) alternative that not only tastes amazing, but will also provide you with some SUPER powerful, stress-busting, nervous system-nourishing nutrients! And let's be honest, chocolate always makes everything better!
Organic cacao powder (Theobroma cacao).
Loaded with antioxidants, potassium and magnesium. Magnesium is one of the MOST important minerals you need during times of stress. The more stressed and anxious we are (the more we are running on cortisol and adrenaline), the more magnesium our body needs.
Magnesium improves mood by supporting neurotransmitter production, reducing inflammation, improving sleep, and also by helping to relieve muscular aches and tension.
Furthermore, chocolate may also interact with some neurotransmitter systems such as dopamine (chocolate contains the dopamine precursor tyrosine), serotonin and endorphins (contained in cocoa and chocolate) that contribute to appetite, reward and mood regulation. 1
Organic Maca powder (Lepidium meyenii).
I like to think of this Peruvian super food (sometimes called Peruvian Ginseng) as a nervous system re-boot. It's rich in phytonutrients and has adaptogenic properties (helps the body to adapt to the stress response). Maca supports hormone signalling and helps to buffer the effects of cortisol. 2
Organic coconut oil.
Firstly, coconut oil makes your hot chocolate super smooth and creamy; secondly, I recommend a good dose of fats with each meal/snack for blood sugar regulation, and simply, because our brains need fat!
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).
Apart from it's distinctive taste and aroma, and the fact it just goes so well with chocolate, cinnamon also has multiple health benefits. Cinnamon contains antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and can help lower or stabilise blood sugar levels.
Balancing blood sugar levels is one of the most important dietary strategies we work on when dealing with mood disorders, whether it's PMS, anxiety, depression or stress.
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp maca powder
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan; gently stir whilst heating - don't bring to the boil.
- Once warmed and all the ingredients are well combined, pour into 2 cups.
- Add a bit of sweetener (stevia, honey or maple syrup) if you wish.
- Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top.
- Serves 2 .......... or 1 who's had a particularly rough day!