Boost Your Metabolic Health With Chromium-Rich Foods
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Chromium is a micronutrient that contributes to the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the body. It is not necessary for optimal health, so a lack of it does not usually lead to any medical problems. Nevertheless, it is still beneficial to consume this mineral. Chromium is a mineral that exists in several forms. Although one dangerous form can be found in industrial pollution, a safe form—the trivalent form—is found naturally in many foods.

Research suggests that chromium might be beneficial in reducing the levels of triglycerides and increasing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Diabetes patients with type-2 can benefit from it, as it is known to improve the sensitivity of insulin. This means that chromium amplifies the response of the cells to the hormone insulin, an important component for regulating the sugar level in the body. Therefore, those with type-2 diabetes should consider adding food with high chromium content to their diet. It may also be advantageous for people affected by insulin resistance, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); however, the effectiveness of chromium on this condition has not been conclusively determined yet. This mineral can be found in several food items and is available in the form of a dietary supplement. The daily value (DV) for chromium is 35 mcg and should be consumed daily for optimal results. Small studies have also demonstrated that chromium may be useful in reducing hunger pangs, and therefore some researchers think that it may be useful in preventing weight gain, while other studies have shown that chromium supplements had no effect on the weight of overweight or obese individuals. So, more studies are required in this regard.

Some of the best sources of chromium include:

1.    Fruit juices like grape juice, orange juice, and tomato juice

Grape juice is an outstanding source of chromium, providing an impressive 7.5 mcg or 21% of the DV in only one cup (240 mL). Nevertheless, depending on how it is grown and processed, the amount of chromium may vary. Other fruits and vegetables may also have similar levels of chromium. As well, grape juice offers 67% of the DV for vitamin C, an antioxidant that defends the body from free radical damage and bolsters the immune system. Additionally, evidence suggests that taking in vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, helps the body absorb chromium more efficiently. To drink it alone or mix it in a smoothie, make sure to pick a version that contains 100% grape juice without added sugar. An excessive amount of added sugar has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, cavities, and obesity.

Make yourselves an immunity boosting juice with sweet limes and grapes! 

If grape juice is not one of your favorites, you may also try orange juice, which also happens to be an excellent source of chromium. Likewise, tomato juice is also a good alternative. It boasts high amounts of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains antioxidants, especially lycopene, which is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

2.    Baker’s yeast:

Baker’s yeast is an ingredient used in bread making. It’s a type of fungus known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a rich source of chromium, providing 9 mcg per tablespoon (12 grams), accounting for 9% of the daily values. Whole wheat is also an excellent source of chromium, and you can combine the two to make some delicious baked goods. Here is one of our favorite recipes for tender whole wheat muffins.

3.    Apples:

Apples are among the most practical and nutritious snacks. They also happen to be a good source of chromium. One medium (200-gram) apple provides 1.4 mcg of the mineral, or 4% of its daily value. As we all know, apples are also a great source of soluble fiber and a group of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. These compounds are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

This salad is one of our favourite ways of getting apple in – makes for a great lunch.  

4.    Green beans

Green beans — or string beans — may also help you increase your chromium intake. A half-cup (73-gram) serving of green beans contains 1.1 mcg of chromium, or about 3% of the daily values.

Chromium supplements are not often required. Most of the chromium we need is present in the foods we consume, so ensuring chromium-rich foods in our diets is the best way to ensure adequate chromium levels. Chromium supplements may also interact with some medications, including beta-blockers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), so it is best to consult your healthcare practitioner before consuming them.