Banish the Grouch

When I get cranky, I tell myself that my fastest route to mood improvement involves sugar.

Yes, I know. That kind of prescription provides only temporary crank-relief. I’m also aware of the cost to my health. Not only does that sugar buzz dissipate quickly, it sticks around my body in the form of inflammation and a lowered resistance to colds and the flu.

We must be a grouchy bunch. On average, Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s like drinking one liter of soda every day. At that rate of empty calorie-ingestion, even if you try to hide your addiction, your gut will give you away.

Three powerful nutrients can boost your mood and your health. Folic acid (FA) and vitamin B12 are good for mood- improvement and prevent disorders of the central nervous system. Omega-3s help to ward off depression and reduce inflammation.

Vitamin supplements can’t replicate all of the benefits of whole foods, so getting these nutrients from food is important.

  • Folic acid: Beans and greens.
  • Vitamin B12: Meat, fish, poultry, and dairy.
  • Omega-3s: Fatty fish like salmon. (For those not fond of fish, fish oil supplements are okay.)

Try these delicious combinations:

  • Chicken burrito(B12) with black beans (FA)
  • Spinach salad (FA) with tuna or chicken (B12)
  • Scrambled eggs (B12) with spinach (FA)
  • Chili beans (FA) with ground beef (B12)
  • Salmon (omega-3s) with sautéed spinach (FA)

Sweet Treat Recipe

6 dates

1/2 avocado

4 tbsp. high quality cocoa

1-2 tsp. water (optional)


Place all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp. of water if mixture is not blending.

Recipe courtesy of Kate Geagan, MS, RD


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