Eating foods that contain sufficient amounts of chromium can help to improve glucose utilization and may have beneficial effects on blood lipid profiles. Foods with sufficient amounts of chromium include: broccoli, green beans, potatoes, grape juice, orange juice, apples, and bananas.
Chromium, an essential mineral, is found in very low concentrations in the human body.
Scientists are not yet certain of exactly how chromium functions in the body. Dietary chromium is safe, but is often confused with the unsafe industrial form of chromium (hexavalent chromium or chromium VI). Industrial chromium is toxic and is primarily encountered through occupational exposure by either direct contact or through inhalation of dust or aerosols.
Chromium deficiency can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat), and cholesterol levels. It can also increase the risk for a number of conditions including diabetes and heart disease. People who are more susceptible to chromium deficiency include the elderly, people who indulge in strenuous exercise, pregnant women, those who consume excessive amounts of sugary foods, and those who receive long-term intravenous feeding without added chromium supplementation.
Taking very high doses of chromium can cause stomach irritation, itching, flushing, irregular heart rhythms, and liver dysfunction. It can also inhibit the effectiveness of insulin.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in chromium is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Broccoli 1/2 cup – (11.0 mcg)
Grape juice 8 fl. ounces – (7.5 mcg)
Potatoes, mashed, 1 cup – (2.7 mcg)
Orange juice 8 fl. ounces – (2.2 mcg)
Beef 3 ounces – (2.0 mcg)
Turkey breast 3 ounces – (1.7 mcg)
Apple, w/ peel, 1 medium – (1.4 mcg)
Green beans 1/2 cup – (1.1 mcg)
Banana 1 medium – (1.0 mcg)