Recipes for Managing Side Effects Series: Lack of Appetite
Nutritional Content and Health Benefits
This sweet, yet savory, mousse is loaded with plant-proteins, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. Something so good for you has never tasted so good! The avocado base is virtually flavorless but provides the creamy consistency akin to a thick pudding. Hemp seeds and peanut butter provide over 10 grams of plant-protein. With healthy fats, protein, and its creamy consistency, this recipe is beneficial for when you may be experiencing lack of appetite. Enjoy this snack or dessert with whatever toppings your heart desires!
Avocado – One medium avocado contains about 360 calories, 5 g of protein, 34 g of fat, 20 g of carbohydrates and 15 grams of fiber [i]. Fat is the most calorie-dense macronutrient with 9 calories per gram, allowing you to get a lot of nutrition without having to consume large quantities of food, which is particularly helpful if you have loss of appetite. Additionally, avocados are incredibly high in potassium, with 1120 mg in 1 avocado. Many American adults do not reach their adequate intakes (AIs) of potassium (2,300 – 3,400 mg). Adequate potassium levels are important for normal cell function, maintaining blood pressure levels at a healthy range, bone health (such as preventing against osteoporosis), and may prevent the progression of kidney disease [ii]. Those taking certain medications, such as diuretics and laxatives, are at an increased risk for potassium deficiency [iii].
Banana – Who doesn’t love bananas? Sweet, easy on the stomach, and so satisfying. This fruit contains high amounts of carotenoids and phenolic compounds with antioxidant activities. These antioxidants help fight against reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been shown to be implicated in the development of certain types of cancer [iv]. Pro tip: Choose a banana that has a lot of brown spots! It’s easier on the digestive process.
Peanut Butter – Peanuts are actually a legume. Peanuts are high in the B vitamins folate, niacin, and thiamin. These vitamins are essential for a variety of bodily functions, such as digestion, energy production, skin turnover, and maintenance of the nervous system. Peanuts are also a good source of manganese and iron. These nutrient-dense legumes contain bioactive components, such as phytosterols and resveratrol, that have been shown to have cancer-growth inhibiting and cancer-prevention benefits [v].
Cacao – Cocoa or cacao is high in phenolic antioxidants, which help to destroy free radicals in the body [vi]. Cocoa may improve immune response and protect nerves from inflammation. Additionally, cacao has been shown to be an overall mood booster. High in magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron, this superfood can assist in protein synthesis, energy production, prevention of anemia and pancytopenia (low white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets), and maintenance of cardiovascular health [vi].
A Decadent Chocolate-y Treat, Perfect for Breakfast, a Snack, or Dessert!
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 Tbs almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
- ½ banana
- 1 Tbs maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 Tbs cacao powder
- 3 Tbs hemp seeds
- 1 Tbs nut milk (add as needed for desired texture)
- pinch of sea salt
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, adding nut milk gradually for desired consistency
- Add 1-3 drops of mint extract before blending
- Add berries or sliced banana on top
- Sprinkle on cacao nibs or granola of your choice
- Drizzle more nut butter or tahini on top
- Add cinnamon!
- Add ½ scoop protein powder. With lack of appetite, every bite counts even more!
For more tips on managing lack of appetite, check out this article.
[i] Avocado, raw. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102652/nutrients
[ii] Weaver CM. Potassium and health. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(3):368S-77S. Published 2013 May 1. doi:10.3945/an.112.003533
[iii] Potassium. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/
[iv] Jiwan S Sidhu, Tasleem A Zafar, Bioactive compounds in banana fruits and their health benefits, Food Quality and Safety, Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2018, Pages 183–188.
[v] Arya SS, Salve AR, Chauhan S. Peanuts as functional food: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2016;53(1):31-41.
[vi] Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011;15(10):2779-2811.