8 Nutrients to Lift Your Spirits - Part 2

Did you know there is a mineral that actually helps increase serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain?!

By increasing these components in the brain, you will naturally feel more alert, sleep better, and feel happier!

Today's Spirit Boosting Nutrient


  • A trace mineral found in the body that helps metabolize food
  • Helps support the regulation of insulin
  • Works directly with the brain's mood regulators and has been found the be effective in treatment of depression
  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): 25mcg per day for women; 35mcg per day for men

pea on fork


  • offer up Oatmeal for Breakfast!  1/2 cup serving of cooked oatmeal will offer about 5mcg of Chromium!!!
  • Consider Boosting Your Mood with a Snack!  - A Whole Wheat English Muffin Topped with Turkey Breast will give you a total of 6mcg of Chromium
  • Pack Broccoli with Your Lunch. 1/2 cup of Broccoli will Provide You with 11mcg of Chromium
  • Power up with Potatoes!  Serve roasted or mashed potatoes with your dinner!  1 cup of potatoes will provide you 3mcg of Chromium.




Recipe Recommendation: Broccoli & Cheese Soup

When it is snowy outside, and a BCS national championship game is being televised, a quick, hearty, comforting meal is in order!  I normally do not do two recipe reviews in row, but I had more time than usual so I tried out another new recipe that I would like to pass along to my NutriFocus family!

Broccoli and Cheese soup is a favorite at most restaurants.  This recipe by “Cooking Light” keeps the flavor of the soup without the saturated fat and trans fats found in some restaurant soups!

Broccoli is high in vitamin C, A, and K.  Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system and can provide cholesterol-lowering benefits.  Broccoli contains a strong combination of vitamin K and vitamin A which interact to keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance which can help solve vitamin D deficiency.  Broccoli is also a rich source of kaempferol, flavonoids that have shown the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body.  And finally, broccoli contains an unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in which make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention.

While the potatoes were baking, I chopped one medium onion and 2 garlic cloves and placed in Dutch oven to begin the cooking process.

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Next, I placed 3 cups of chicken broth and 16oz broccoli florets into the Dutch oven and brought the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture was boiling,  I let it simmer for 10 minutes.

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While the broccoli was simmering, I cut up the cheese into cubes. The recipe called for 8oz cheese, but I ended up using around 12oz cheese to give it more of a cheesy flavor.

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And finally, I whisked together 2 1/2 cups 2% milk and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and added to the broccoli mixture. I allowed that to cook until it thickened. Once thickened, I removed the soup from the heat, stirred in the cheese until melted, and served hot!

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I paired this soup with a hearty baked potato stuffed with cheese and sour cream.  This was the perfect combination for a cold, wintery night!  Mike and I both agreed, this was better than most restaurant soups we’ve tried in the past! This is a keeper!  

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Cooking Light

Total: 33 minutes Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 8  ounces  light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.