Mood Boosting Vitamins – Chromium

This is the second in a 10 part series on mood boosting vitamins. Last week’s post was about calcium, and this week’s is about chromium.

Chromium is something we probably don’t think about much day to day, but we should. A chromium deficiency increases our chances of getting diabetes, and can cause extreme mood swings and anxiety as well. If kids don’t get enough chromium, it will cause muscle weakness and fatigue as well as anxiety and will likely slow their growth. Our bodies need very little chromium to function, but the junk food diets that many people find themselves on don’t tend to offer much chromium. For example, whole grains and sugarcane lose most of their chromium when they are turned into refined flour and white sugar. On top of that, higher fat diets (and other diets that are harder on the digestive system) inhibit our ability to absorb chromium.

The best way to make sure you are getting enough chromium is to cut out processed foods wherever you can:

  • instead of buying Wonderbread, try whole wheat bread from the bakery (it’s usually cheaper, too!)
  • try raw sugar instead of white sugar
  • make your own tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes (and don’t skip the basil and garlic, they’re both good sources of chromium)
  • avoid cereals with high sugar content
  • choose fruit juice instead of pop, if you must have carbonation try adding some tonic water

I don’t have many recipes this week because most of my favorite ways to get chromium don’t require cooking. Apples, oranges, bananas, and broccoli are some of the best sources. Red wine can also be a great source of chromium, though, which means my favorite homemade sangria can also be a great source! If you try the recipe, remember to use raw sugar for the simple syrup.