Friday, April 7, is World Health Day, which this year focuses on depression. According to the World Health Organization, depression is “the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,” and over 300 million people live with this debilitating mental illness, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
People use Prozac and other medications to mitigate their depressive symptoms, but for those who choose not to medicate themselves, a January 2017 review of over 100 studies shows that there’s a natural treatment option that is equally effective.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, works as a powerful antidepressant and neuroprotective agent. That means it protects your nerve cells from damage and degeneration, a side effect of depression. It is also anti-inflammatory, a hormonal and neurochemical modulator, and a potent antioxidant.
The studies validate the practices of Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese medicine, which have used turmeric for holistic healing and cooking for more than 3,000 years. In fact, turmeric first caught the interest of researchers after it was discovered that people of Indian descent exhibited significantly lower rates of cancer.
The recipe uses only a few ingredients and takes about five minutes to whip up. Indulge and treat yourself on World Health Day with this nourishing turmeric hot chocolate concoction. It’s sure to please.
Makes 2 servings
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
- 1 ½ tablespoons raw cacao powder
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (about 2 grams)
- Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt
- Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk together.
- Whisk for about 4 minutes until liquid is hot.
- Pour hot chocolate into two mugs and sprinkle ground cinnamon on top.
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