Chromium is a naturally occurring mineral you probably associate with high-priced automobile wheels not dietary health. But a form of chromium known as trivalent chromium is also an essential trace mineral required for the proper metabolism of sugar.
Chromium is needed in extremely small amounts it is called a trace mineral since we need just a trace of it but it cannot be produced by the body as needed. It can be obtained only from what we eat or supplements we take.
The mineral chromium was first identified in Europe in the 1790s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that it was appreciated as an important trace element for human consumption. Interestingly, even today the typical American diet is deficient in chromium; it has been estimated that only 10 percent of Americans get enough chromium in their diets. Why would this be?
One reason is that the particular form of chromium found in many foods the trivalent chromium mentioned earlier is not particularly easy to digest. Also, some of the foods which offer us the richest source of chromium liver, broccoli, and yeast, for instance are not necessarily the most popular foods among Americans. And finally, the high-sugar diets of many people cause chromium to be lost from the body.
Even cooking poses a problem. Chromium simply does not tolerate processing or high temperatures well in fact, only a small percentage of the mineral may survive. In some cases, the culprit is refining. Chromium is found in the bran and germ of whole grains exactly the parts of the grain removed when the granules are processed into white flour.
Good sources of chromium include:
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