Top 10 Foods Rich in Chromium

Foods rich in chromium include broccoli, oat, sweet potato, corn, beef, egg, etc. Learn the benefits of this nutrient and recommended daily intake.

About 90% of Americans don't get the necessary amount of chromium with their diet. Chromium is an important nutrient for the human body as it plays an important role in the metabolism and insulin function, regulating this way the levels of sugar in the human body. Some types of food provide an only small amount of chromium, while others offer considerable amounts of chromium. Consuming these chromium rich foods can help you get the necessary amount of chromium your body needs for proper functioning.

Why Do You Need Chromium?

Chromium is a trace element which our body needs in very small amounts for a proper functioning of some important metabolic processes. Here are the most important chromium health benefits:

Chromium increases insulin sensitivity which will normalize the levels of glucose in the blood. Normally insulin is responsible for the transportation process of glucose from the bloodstream to the body cells. However, if there is too much glucose in the blood, this glucose will be converted to fat and will be stored.

Chromium lowers the risk of diabetes. As mentioned, chromium works by increasing the insulin sensitivity in the human body and a good dietary intake of chromium may reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If you are already dealing and living with diabetes, you should consult your healthcare provider first before considering chromium supplements as these supplements might interfere with other medications that you are already taking.

Chromium enhances the mood as chromium deficiency can lead to difficulties producing of serotonin, a hormone associated with positive mood and relaxation. Chromium supplements can help increase the production of serotonin in the body.

Chromium will give you extra energy. Some patients have reported extra energy after taking chromium supplements. This is probably true as chromium is known to play a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and some proteins.

Signs and symptoms of chromium deficit include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Poor blood glucose control
  • Weak bones and even bone loss
  • Poor skin health
  • Low concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight changes
  • Vision problems
  • Higher risk for heart problems
  • Higher risk for high cholesterol
  • Mood changes
  • Stunted growth and development
  • Delayed wound healing period
  • Delayed recovery after surgical procedures

Recommended daily intakes of chromium are

Age

Adequate Intake of Chromium

0 – 6 months

0.2 mcg

6 months – 1 year

5.5 mcg

1 – 3 years

11 mcg

4 – 8 years

15 mcg

9 – 13 years

21 mcg for female, 24 mcg for male

14 – 18 years

24 mcg for female, 35 mcg for male

19 – 50 years

25 mcg for female, 35 mcg for male

+ 51 years

20 mcg for female, 30 mcg for male

Pregnant women, 14 – 18 years

29 mcg

Pregnant women, + 19 years

30 mcg

Lactating women, 14 – 18 years

44 mcg

Lactating women, + 19 years

45 mcg

Chromium Rich Foods

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is known for many health benefits, including being rich in chromium. Better steam broccoli rather than boil them in water in order for broccoli to maintain all its nutritional value.

2. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are known to be healthier than regular potatoes. They are a good source of chromium as well.

3. Corn

Corn is a great and natural source of chromium. However, today most of the corn is genetically engineered in order to kill insects. Purple corn is still considered GMO free.

4. Oats

Oats are one of the healthier grains and they should be part of your daily diet. If you are not getting enough chromium, then you should consider oats as one of the chromium rich foods.

5. Grass Fed Beef

If you are a meat lover, then grass fed beef is the best type. Cows which are raised on grass, rather than on a diet of corn processing waste will produce beef which is healthier, tastier and which is high in chromium and other minerals as well. 

6. Eggs

Free range eggs are very nutritious, including being rich in chromium.

7. Brewer’s Yeast

One of chromium foods is brewer’s yeast. Just one tablespoon of brewer’s yeast provides about 15 mcg of chromium.

8. Green Beans

Green beans are a great source of chromium and for this reason they should be part of your daily diet. Only one cup of green beans contains about 2.04 mcg of chromium. Green beans are healthy not just because they contain chromium, but green beans are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B2, fiber, manganese, and folate.

9. Grapes

Grapes are a great source of chromium as well. However, if you want better results, you should drink grape juice. It has been estimated that only one cup of grape juice contains about 8 mcg of chromium.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of many foods rich in chromium. One cup of tomatoes contains about 1.26 mcg of chromium. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, fiber, biotin, and vitamin C as well.

Are Chromium Supplements Necessary?

As various studies have shown mixed results, it is not known if chromium supplements are necessary or not. There are various types of chromium supplements available, including chromiumpoly nicotinate, chromium picolinate, and several other types. As adults need only small amounts of chromium a day, the needed chromium is provided with food. However, chromium supplements are available as capsules or tablets, as well as, as part of multivitamins.

Researchers so far have not been able to identify a specific biological role of chromium in the body, which presents a problem when it comes to the issue if chromium supplements are necessary or not. Most nutrition experts believe that it is much healthier to get the chromium from foods and not as a supplement.

The European Food Safety Authority in 2014 removed chromium from the list of essential nutrients. Also, in most cases, chromium supplements can be quite expensive, which plays a role when it comes to the decision of taking or not taking these supplements.

Chromium is considered as safe when consumed in moderate amounts. However, when consumed more than it should, chromium can lead to various side effects and even toxicity. A good thing is that chromium overdose is very rare as this mineral enters the cells in the human body in very small amounts. The rest of the chromium gets flushed from the body.

In cases when too much chromium supplements are taken and chromiumoverdose occurs, this mineral enters the cells and leads to DNA damage. For thisreason,it is not recommended to take more chromium supplements than prescribed. The best thing is to get the chromium needed from chromium rich foods. This way you know that you are eating healthy and that you provide your body all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the right dose, avoiding this way any possible side effect or overdose.

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