Recipe: Mindful Overnight Oats
By Alexandra Lucciantonio
This recipe contains specific ingredients that are high in certain nutrients directly shown to improve mental health, mood, wellbeing, memory, cognition and reduce stress.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1.2 cup Bonsoy (or unsweetened nut milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp flax meal (preferably from freshly grounded seeds)
- 1/2 tsp grounded cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
- 4 chopped almonds
- 1 tsp hemp seeds
- 10 blueberries
- Put water, oats, milk of choice, flax meal and cinnamon into glass jar or container. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning sprinkle pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chopped almonds and blueberries on oats.
More about the ingredients
- Oats are a natural nervine, this means they nourish and tonify the activity of the nervous system. They are also high in B3, and B3 deficiency has been shown to be associated with depression, memory loss and fatigue (Low Dog, 2010).
- Bonsoy (whole soybean milk) – Studies suggest that soybean peptides have the ability to decrease adrenaline and increase dopamine levels, therefore has the ability to alter brain chemistry and reduce stress response (Yimit, Hoxur, Amat, Uchikawa, & Yamaguchi, 2012).
- Flax meal (preferably form freshly grounded seeds) is high in omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-3 deficiency has shown to be detrimental on brain function and can lead to poor communication between brain cells. This has been shown to lower mood and cause an increased incidence of depression and anxiety (Larrieu & Layé, 2018).
- Cinnamon has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect neural function (Momtaz, Hassani, Khan, Ziaee, & Abdollahi, 2018).
- Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan and are a source of zinc. Tryptophan and zinc deficiencies are associated with mental health conditions like depression and schizophrenia (Lindseth, Helland, & Caspers, 2015; Petrilli et al., 2017). Tryptophan synthesises serotonin that is integral for stabilising mood and promoting restful sleep, and as it is an essential amino acid it can only be received from food (Lindseth et al., 2015).
- Almonds are a source of magnesium and B6. Magnesium is a key mineral required in powering cellular brain function and studies shown can reduce mild-moderate depression (Tarleton, Littenberg, MacLean, Kennedy, & Daley, 2017), B6 is a precursor to GABA and deficiency is associated with anxiety (Nuss, 2015).
- Hemp seeds are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Protein is required for neurotransmitter synthesis, brain health and energy (Rao, Asha, Ramesh, & Rao, 2008).
- Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants, and have been shown to prevent dementia and improve memory in older adults (Krikorian et al., 2010).
Krikorian, R., Shidler, M. D., Nash, T. A., Kalt, W., Vinqvist-Tymchuk, M. R., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. A. (2010). Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), 3996–4000. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf9029332
Larrieu, T., & Layé, S. (2018). Food for mood: Relevance of nutritional omega-3 fatty acids for depression and anxiety. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, 1047. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01047
Lindseth, G., Helland, B., & Caspers, J. (2015). The effects of dietary tryptophan on affective disorders. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 29(2), 102–107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2014.11.008
Low Dog, T. (2010). The role of nutrition in mental health. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 16(2), 42–46. Retrieved from https://login.ezproxy.endeavour.edu.au:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=…
Momtaz, S., Hassani, S., Khan, F., Ziaee, M., & Abdollahi, M. (2018). Cinnamon, a promising prospect towards Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacological Research, 130, 241–258. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2017.12.011
Nuss, P. (2015). Anxiety disorders and GABA neurotransmission: A disturbance of modulation. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 165–175. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S58841
Petrilli, M. A., Kranz, T. M., Kleinhaus, K., Joe, P., Getz, M., Johnson, P., … Malaspina, D. (2017). The emerging role for zinc in depression and psychosis. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 414. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00414
Rao, T. S. S., Asha, M. R., Ramesh, B. N., & Rao, K. S. J. (2008). Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 50(2), 77–82. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.42391
Tarleton, E. K., Littenberg, B., MacLean, C. D., Kennedy, A. G., & Daley, C. (2017). Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLOS ONE, 12(6), e0180067. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180067
Yimit, D., Hoxur, P., Amat, N., Uchikawa, K., & Yamaguchi, N. (2012). Effects of soybean peptide on immune function, brain function and neurochemistry in healthy volunteers. Nutrition Journal, 28(2), 154–159. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2011.05.008