Your body needs little amounts of chromium, a mineral that is essential for the metabolism of glucose and the production of energy. A proper dose of chromium would be 35mcg for men between 19 and 50 years old, and 25mcg for women of the same age. Chromium picolinate is a form of chromium available as dietary supplements. You should be able to meet the daily requirements of this mineral if you eat a variety of nutritious foods.
Benefits and risks
Chromium plays an important role in the transforming glucose into energy and in the metabolism of proteins and fats. Chromium is one of the active components of a compound called glucose tolerance factor. GTF supports the actions of insulin, the hormone that allows your body to use glucose to obtain energy, helping the cells to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream. When your body has low chromium levels, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, which causes instability in the levels of glucose in the blood and high triglycerides levels, which are fats that can increase the risk of suffering a cardiovascular disease. Chromium usually produces few side effects when it is consumed through food. A chromium picolinate supplement can cause low sugar levels in the blood and it can cause health problems if it is consumed in high doses.
Fruits and vegetables
Broccoli is one of the richest sources of chromium, with 11mcg per 1/2 a can. A cup of potato puree has 2.7mcg of chromium, and 1/2 a cup of green beans provides 1.1mcg. A medium apple has 1.4mcg of chromium, and a medium banana has 1mcg. Other sources of chromium are raisins, asparagus, and mushrooms.
Waffles, muffins, and other cereal products are also good sources of chromium. Whole and cereal breads are the most nutritious sources of chromium within the “grains” group. However, eating bread or honey biscuits, royal jelly or other ingredients that have a high percentage of sugar can counter the benefits of chromium.
Beef, chicken breast, cow liver, and other meats also have chromium.
Spices like black pepper and thyme add chromium to our dishes. Brewer’s yeast is a rich source of chromium when it is consumed as a nutritional supplement. High doses of chromium can produce unbalanced sugar levels in the blood or interact with other medicines, this is why it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking brewer’s yeast or chromium supplements.