The symbol for chromium is Cr and it has atomic number 24. It was discovered in 1779 by a French chemist named Louis Nicolas Vauquelin. Chromium is known for the stark colors produced by its various compounds. It is for the same reason it got its name which is derived from chroma the Greek term for color. Even though chromium is one of the least consumed minerals in human diet it plays an essential role in human health. Following are some of the health benefits of chromium.
Chromium and Heart: Low levels of chromium are related to high incidence of heart attack and vice versa. Studies reveal that men with high level of chromium are 35% less likely to have a heart attack than men with low level of chromium.
Chromium and Vision: Chromium is an essential eye nutrient. It helps in the functioning of ciliary muscles which are responsible for focus in vision.
Chromium and Skin: According to studies daily intake of chromium helps prevent acne by reducing the skin infection rate. The recommended daily intake of chromium for acne prevention is 150 mcg.
Chromium and Diabetes: Diabetes is known to develop due to deficiency of chromium. Also among diabetic patients when sufficient amount of chromium is present less insulin intake is required.
Chromium and Brain: Chromium is known for its effects on cognitive functioning. Research indicates that daily intake of chromium improves brain activity in people experiencing early memory decline.
Chromium in its trivalent form is found in several foods. However most of chromium content is lost during processing (refining, storage, cooking) thus the average diet all over the world is deprived of this important mineral. Thus it is best to depend on raw natural foods for chromium nutrition. Below are some of the best natural sources of chromium.
Egg yolks: This is one of the best sources of chromium. One large raw egg contains 183 mcg of chromium while the cooked egg has 26 mcg of chromium.
Liver: 3 ounce of liver has 55mcg chromium while braised liver has 42mcg.
Brewer’s Yeast: Another excellent source of chromium it has 112 mcg of chromium per serving.
Bread made from whole wheat: It has 42 mcg of chromium
American cheese: 1ounce of American cheese contains 48 mcg of chromium.
Cooked Peas: 1cup of cooked peas contain 60mcg of chromium
Some other sources containing chromium in small quantity are fresh chilli, rye bread, apple peel, aged potatoes.
Food and Nutrition Information Centre