Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can be found in some food and drink like tea, coffee, cereals, potatoes, peas, thyme, processed meats, whole grains and beer. It can also be gained through supplement form. Even though most people will gain an adequate amount of chromium from the foods they eat, there are many health benefits to be gained from larger quantities of this mineral.
1. Controlling blood sugar: there is evidence to suggest that chromium can help to control blood sugar, by moving glucose and fats from the bloodstream and into cells that will convert them into energy. This will help to monitor and stabilise blood sugar levels. Therefore, if you suffer from hyperglycaemia you may consider adding chromium into your lifestyle.
2. Aiding digestion: because chromium enhances insulin activity, it can enable your body to easily metabolise fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Chromium can also help to deliver amino acids for muscle repair and building muscle fibres. These benefits all assist with healthy digestion and are most prominent in a biologically active form of chromium that is naturally found in brewer's yeast.
3. Weight loss: chromium could be a helpful supplement if you're looking for a helping hand with weight loss. Its properties increase the sensitivity of insulin so that your body is able to convert fat into energy more efficiently. Chromium can also assist with enhancing athletic performance, increasing lean body mass and reducing hunger to aid weight loss.
4. Lowering cholesterol: the levels of chromium that are found naturally within our foods may be a key factor in the metabolism of cholesterol. Studies have suggested that just 200 micrograms of chromium every day can help to lower cholesterol levels, while also increasing lipoprotein in the body (the molecule that carries cholesterol through the blood).
5. Lowering blood pressure: chromium also has the ability to reduce the resistance of insulin, which could have a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. It is therefore suggested that chromium can help to prevent hypertension.