If you’re pretty well versed on some of the more common vitamins and minerals, you may have heard of chromium. This trace mineral is something our bodies don’t require much of, but it happens to have a few very specific small but mighty effects on our overall health.
So, if you want to learn more about why you need chromium, read on—we’re breaking down what it is, what it does, and how you can make sure you are getting the amount your body needs.
What is Chromium?
Chromium is a trace mineral that’s most commonly known to help support insulin sensitivity*, which is essential for regulating blood sugar and metabolizing and storing carbohydrates, fats, and protein.*
Interestingly enough, the insulin sensitivity benefits came about all the way back in 1957 when a compound in Brewer’s yeast (chromium) was found to help lower the age-related decline in the ability to maintain normal blood sugars.* This 1957 rat study started to shine a light on just how beneficial chromium may be for blood sugar support.
Here’s Why You Need Chromium
Despite the fact that the body requires such a small amount of chromium, the amount you do get can certainly impact your overall health.*
As mentioned, one of the most commonly talked about health benefits of chromium is that studies show it may help support blood sugar control in those with prediabetes, as well as those with diagnosed diabetes.*
This is a big reason as to why you need chromium. Even if you don’t suffer from blood sugar-related issues like diabetes, chromium may be able to help improve the way the body uses insulin, helping to keep blood sugar levels in check.*
Studies show it may also be beneficial for those who have high blood sugar as a result of taking certain medications, like steroids that are known to spike blood sugar levels.*
Chromium is also commonly used in the fitness world, among athletes looking to boost muscle and lose fat, as studies show it may help support HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol) while lowering LDL (the bad type of cholesterol).*
Another exciting potential benefit that comes with chromium is it’s potential to help reduce cravings.* An 8-week study found that chromium, in the form of chromium picolinate was able to lower hunger, reduce cravings, and lower total food intake in overweight adult women.*
How Much Chromium Do We Need?
When it comes to how much chromium you need each day, The FDA Recommended Daily Intake notes the Daily Value (DV) for chromium as follows:
Adults and Children over 4: 35mcg/day
Pregnant or Lactating Women: 45 mcg/day
Infants through 12 Months: 5.5 mcg/day
Children 1 through 3: 11 mcg/day
The Top Food Sources of Chromium
With the right food choices, you can pack in quite a bit of chromium into your diet. Here are some chromium-rich foods you can add to your diet to not only support chromium levels but also supercharge your overall health with these nutrient powerhouse foods.
For an added health boost, try enjoying broccoli with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (Side benefit - Nutritional yeast is a great source of vegan B12 too!).
#2 String Beans
Enjoy with some melted ghee and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt for a healthy side dish.
#3 Brewers Yeast
An easy way to enjoy this is to sprinkle some over popcorn or even grain-free tortilla or kale chips for a healthy snack! Yummm!
While it may not sound like the most appetizing thing, liver is actually incredibly nutrient-dense. If you’re new to adding this to your diet, try making a homemade meatloaf with some liver mixed in with your other favorite ground meats. You won’t even know it’s there!
#5 Turkey Breast
Hello Thanksgiving! Pair a turkey breast with a side of broccoli or green beans for a chromium boost!
#6. Chromium in Supplement Form
Perhaps the easiest way to get chromium is from a full spectrum daily MULTI, like Root’d.
Root’d’s family of effervescent sparkling powder MULTI's and prenatal allow you and your family to easily get your DV of chromium each day, plus 23 other essential daily vitamins in minerals, electrolytes, and probiotics in one ahhhh’mazing drink mix!
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While we may not need a ton of chromium, studies show that the amount we do get may help support quite a few areas of health.* From better blood sugar regulation to potentially slashing those stubborn food cravings*, it’s worth consuming some nutrient-dense foods rich in this trace mineral and making sure your daily multi contains it.*
While it may not receive as much press as some of the other most buzzed-about vitamins and minerals, we can’t forget about why you need chromium and what exactly it can do for you.*