When it comes to staying healthy, we tend to focus on getting appropriate amounts of vitamins, protein, and carbs. And we usually care more about minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium while ignoring other beneficial minerals like chromium.
Today we are going to talk about chromium.
Chromium, an often overlooked yet essential trace mineral, plays a crucial role in our overall health by aiding in metabolism and proper insulin function.
Found in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains, this essential nutrient helps regulate blood sugar, improves brain health, and breaks down fats, carbs, and proteins more effectively.
While many focus on getting sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium, it is equally important to ensure the recommended daily intake of chromium is met through a balanced diet.
Incorporating chromium-rich foods into your daily meals can help meet your nutritional needs. Some examples of foods containing chromium include grape juice, orange juice, broccoli, whole wheat flour, brewer’s yeast, baker’s yeast, animal-based proteins, and string beans.
While supplements are available, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before adding them to your routine. By including chromium-rich foods in your diet, you can support your body’s metabolic functions and overall well-being.
Benefits of Chromium
Chromium is a valuable trace mineral that plays a critical role in several bodily functions. One of the primary benefits of chromium is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and support the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Including foods with chromium in your diet can help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Some research suggests that chromium may also provide support in managing metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and play a part in regulating dyslipidemia, weight, and lean body mass. You can find more information on the importance of chromium in your diet at Food Minerals.
Furthermore, sufficient chromium intake from food sources can prevent deficiency, which can lead to negative side effects.
Foods rich in chromium include whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables.
Including a variety of these sources in your daily diet will ensure that you are receiving the essential trace minerals needed for these important bodily functions.
Here is a list of 7 foods with Chromium
To help you incorporate this mineral into your diet, we’re bringing you a list of the top 7 foods that are high in chromium.
- Broccoli: A top food source of chromium with 11 mcg per half cup serving.
- Grape Juice: This beverage provides 7.5 mcg of chromium per 1 cup.
- Green Beans: An excellent vegetable choice for chromium.
- Basil: A flavorful herb that adds chromium to your diet.
- Beef: A quality food-source of this trace mineral.
- Potatoes: A staple that can help you meet your chromium needs.
- Tomato Juice: A delicious and nutritious chromium-rich drink.
Grape juice is a tasty and natural way to obtain a significant amount of essential mineral chromium. With just one cup of grape juice, you can consume 7.5 mcg of chromium, which is around 21% to 30% of your recommended daily value (DV). Keep in mind, though, that chromium content in grapes may vary between different crops, depending on cultivation practices.
Opt for 100% natural grape juice without added sugars or additives to ensure maximum health benefits. If unavailable, making the juice at home is a viable alternative.
Besides providing chromium, grape juice also offers a generous dose of vitamin C. This essential nutrient enhances your immune system and acts as an antioxidant against damaging free radicals. Furthermore, the presence of ascorbic acid in vitamin C may improve chromium absorption rates in your body.
Incorporating grape juice into your diet can be as simple as sipping it alone, or blending it into a delicious and nutrient-dense smoothie. Either way, you’ll be ensuring consistent chromium intake for improved health and well-being.
Orange juice provides a source of chromium, with 240 ml containing 2.2 mcg, equivalent to 6% of the average daily value (DV). However, this is a lower amount in comparison to grape juice. On the bright side, you can obtain 90% of your DV of vitamin C from a single serving of orange juice. Additionally, this beverage has a variety of antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
These components in orange juice may potentially reduce inflammation and heart disease risk. To maximize its benefits, it is recommended to consume 100% pure orange juice without added sugar or flavoring.
When it comes to nutrition benefits, everyone knows you should eat Broccoli. Including broccoli in your diet can help you get more chromium.
45 grams of broccoli provide your body with a whopping 11 mcg of chromium, which for some people is around a third of their daily intake, and for others, is almost 50% of their DV of chromium!
This wondrous, versatile veggie is also rich in fiber and Vitamins K, C, A, and B9. Besides chromium and numerous vitamins, broccoli also provides you with a decent amount of potassium.
It can be enjoyed raw as a healthy snack; you can just dip it in yogurt dip, hummus, or any other healthy dip and crunch away at it!
You can also include it in your salad for extra crunch and nutrients! Not into raw broccoli? Steam or saute it to make a tasty side dish. You can even turn it into a rich, creamy puree!
Whole Wheat Flour
When trying to get more chromium into your diet, whole wheat products are a great option. On average, a 58-gram whole wheat English muffin will provide you with 10% of your daily chromium intake. How cool is that?
There are other whole wheat goodies that give you lesser portions of chromium but still increase your daily intake. You can often get 3% of your DV by eating a 36-gram slice of whole wheat bread.
In addition, whole wheat flour provides you with a good amount of fiber and protein, which can decrease your appetite and help you lose weight.
For example, 30 grams of whole wheat flour contains 3.3 grams of fiber and 3.9 grams of protein.
Adding whole wheat flour to your diet is super easy, as it can substitute regular flour in most recipes.
Brewer’s Yeast and Baker’s Yeast
Yeast is an essential ingredient in bread recipes. It’s actually a fungus named Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a great chromium source. Every tablespoon gives you about 17 mcg, 40% of your DV.
You can use yeast in recipes to increase your protein content, enhance your immune system, and boost your overall energy. Yeast is usually sold as a powder, so you can add it to your salad, smoothie, or yogurt. It might taste odd at the beginning, but the nutritional value is totally worth it!
In general, proteins that come from animal sources are an excellent source of chromium. 85 grams (3 oz) of beef provides you with 2 mcg of chromium (6% of the average DV).
You can get your chromium from other animal sources, too, but they may contain smaller amounts. 85 grams of turkey breast, for example, contains 1.7 mcg of chromium (5% of the DV).
Chicken breast can also provide you with a good amount of chromium. 85 grams of chicken breast provides you with 0.5 mcg of chromium (1% of the DV).
All of these animal-based proteins contain vitamin B12, which your body needs to speed up the formation of red blood cells and ensure the proper functioning of the nervous system.
String beans, or green beans, can be a good chromium source to include in your diet. 73 grams of string beans provide 1.1 mcg of chromium (2.5-3% of the DV).
Additionally, green beans are a great way to reduce bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and many other digestive issues.
That is because they’re very low in FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are not digested until they reach your gut. Their name stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.”
In fact, if you have some digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, eating green beans is a great option for you because they won’t provoke your gut in any way.
Everyone knows how to eat them — steam, boil, saute, or roast them, and enjoy these green beauties as a snack or a side dish!
So, there you have 7 chromium-packed foods that you can easily include in your diet! Never rely on supplements before food, and instead, always try to get your chromium from natural sources. Stay safe and healthy!