Stressed? Sip on this.

Stress sets off a chain of negative events in the body that can impact your health. This anti-stress smoothie is packed with good-for-you ingredients that help minimize the negative effects of stress on your body.

A blend made up rich cacao, creamy avocado, chia seeds, and almonds, it tastes like chocolate almond bliss. By decreasing the amount of water you add to it, you can make it into a smoothie bowl or pudding that can be eaten with a spoon, giving it an even more decadent feel.

Benefits

Avocado: Creamy avocados are high in stress-busting B-vitamins, which support healthy nerves and brain cells. In fact, some studies suggest feelings of depression and anxiety may be linked to a Vitamin B deficiency.

Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a good source of magnesium, a critical mineral for managing stress and mitigating depression. Plus, the seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits to the brain, resulting in less stress and anxiety.

In fact, some doctors and researchers believe the growing epidemic of depression and anxiety in our population has something to do with our diet, including widespread omega-3 deficiency.

Cacao: There’s no mistaking the feel-good rush we feel after biting into a piece of dark chocolate. That’s because it boosts our serotonin levels, which also boosts our mood and makes us feel happier. In addition, studies indicate polyphenols found in cocoa may help reduce stress hormone levels in the body.

Almond Butter: Almonds contain zinc, a mineral that plays a crucial role in modulating the way the brain and body respond to stress. They’re also a good source of stress-busting magnesium, not to mention Vitamins B2 and E, which can bolster the immune system during times of stress.

Anti Stress Smoothie Maria Marlowe 2

Anti-Stress Smoothie

Serves: 2

Smoothie

2 cups of chia gel* (3 Tbsp. chia seeds + 2 cups water)

1/2 avocado
2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
4 dates
2 Tbsp. cacao powder
2 Tbsp. almond butter
additional water as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional Toppings
sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Make chia gel: Pour two cups of filtered water into a jar, add in 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, and stir well. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. (Use this time to go on with your morning routine!)
  2. When ready, pour chia gel and all remaining smoothie ingredients into your blender, and blend on high until smooth. The avocado and chia gives it a thick, spoonable consistency (perfect to turn into a smoothie bowl). If you prefer a thinner consistency, simply add more water or ice.
  3. Top with cacao nibs and sliced almonds, if you desire.
  4. Sip and savor slowly. Save the remaining serving for a snack or tomorrow’s breakfast.
*Note: You can speed up your time here by making chia gel in advance. It’s a great idea to make a large batch so you always have some on hand for your morning smoothies. It should last in an airtight container like a mason jar in your fridge for at least one week.
For a printable recipe card, see the original recipe, here.
Author: Maria Marlowe is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who helps people lose weight or clear up their acne by switching to a real food diet. She posts healthy recipes and meal plans at mariamarlowe.com.  She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NBC, Well + Good, and more.
Follow Maria for more healthy recipes on Instagram @MariaMarlowe and Facebook.

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