In this post, we discuss: What Chromium Deficiency Means
Signs that You May Be Chromium Deficient
How Much Chromium Does Your Body Need?
3 Easy to Make Chromium-Rich Recipes
Chromium Rich PLN Meals

Are you struggling with Chromium Deficiency?  You’re not the only one, Chromium deficiency is a widespread problem. Athletes, diabetics, pregnant women, and the elderly are especially at risk of chromium deficiency leading to impaired insulin function, inhibition of protein synthesis and energy production, and to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that a strong association exists between chromium deficiency, high blood insulin, and elevated blood cholesterol levels. 

Further, chromium losses are found in diets with large quantities of refined foods, especially simple sugars, which exacerbates the problem since these foods are not only low in chromium but also increase losses of chromium through the urine. That’s why sometimes when you’re craving sugar it may be your body saying you need chromium.  

Several experiments in animals have also demonstrated that high sucrose, chromium deficient diets potentially cause severe atherosclerosis. Additional forms of chromium loss are found during long periods of stress such as pregnancy, infection, physical trauma, and strenuous exercise. Exercise has been shown to induce chromium loss in athletes and lead to chromium deficiency resulting in impaired insulin function.

Signs That You May Be Chromium Deficient

The U.S. tops the list of the number of people suffering from chromium deficiency. Here are the top five symptoms of chromium deficiency for easy reference:

  • You may experience a sudden and abrupt rise in anxiety levels. You may get lightheaded, anxious, and your heart may start racing even after doing some light exercise. This happens because as the level of chromium in the blood decreases, the body’s ability to control anxiety also decreases. So even when you are exposed to low levels of stress, the body shifts into proactive mode and tells you to be on high alert.
  • A sudden decrease in energy levels is another sign of chromium deficiency. You might be getting enough sleep, yet you may find that you are getting tired easily. If this symptom lasts for more than three to four days, it is cause for concern.
  • If you have chronic fatigue and anxiety, you should visit your doctor for a glucose tolerance test. If your doctor suspects chromium deficiency, the determination of blood sugar levels will help him or her prescribe medication to protect the body’s insulin making ability. With a deficiency of chromium, the chances of getting diabetes increase.
  • A young person may be suspected of chromium deficiency if he or she shows signs of muscle weakness, anxiety and fatigue, along with a slow growth rate. It has also been observed that children who eat large amounts of processed sugar may grow at a slower rate than their peers who are getting enough chromium in their diets.
  • Chromium deficiency also causes mood swings in affected people. As the regular functioning of the body takes a beating, the mood of the individual also starts fluctuating. 

How Much Chromium Does Your Body Need?

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months* 0.2 mcg 0.2 mcg
7–12 months* 5.5 mcg 5.5 mcg
1–3 years 11 mcg 11 mcg
4–8 years 15 mcg 15 mcg
9–13 years 25 mcg 21 mcg
14–18 years 35 mcg 24 mcg 29 mcg 44 mcg
19–50 years 35 mcg 25 mcg 30 mcg 45 mcg
51+ years 30 mcg 20 mcg

*For infants from birth to age 12 months, the AIs are based on the mean chromium intakes of infants fed primarily human milk and, for older infants, complementary foods.

 

3 Recipes To Increase Your Chromium Levels

There are several foods that are high in Chromium including Broccoli, Green Beans, Poultry, and Grapes.  Here are a few go-to recipes for the Chromium deficient.

Easy 2-Step Grape Sorbet

Frozen grapes on their own can be a delectable treat, that not only boosts chromium levels, but can be used as a palate cleanser after a meal. 

If you want to get fancy though, this grape sorbet will impress and invigorate.

Benefits

Grapes are naturally rich in chromium and grape juice offers a concentrated source of the mineral. One cup of grape juice contains about 7.5 micrograms of chromium. 

Ingredients

3 Cups of Seedless Grapes (any kind works, I prefer Black grapes, however, green grapes work just as well, the key is selecting a grape that’s in season)
Lemon Zest (1 teaspoon)
Lemon Juice 

Recipe

Step 1: Freeze the Grapes
Remove the grapes from the stems and arrange them on a plate or baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until they’re solid, which should take at least 4 hours. Don’t forget to wash them first! 

As stated earlier, I sometimes stop after this step, frozen grapes are such a treat.    

Step 2: Blend the Ingredients
In a food processor, puree the frozen grapes, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Add the remaining ingredients, and continue to puree until everything is smooth. Once everything is blended, it’s ready to enjoy!

BONUS TIP: Garnish with mint to ‘spruce’ up your presentation

Brewer’s Broccoli

As we mentioned earlier, Broccoli is a great source of chromium; another fantastic chromium-rich food is brewer’s yeast.  Combine the two for a chromium-rich snack or side dish.

Benefits
Broccoli is a superfood, and chromium is one of the many vitamins and minerals it provides us.

Ingredients
Broccoli
Brewer’s Yeast

Garlic
Oil

Recipe

Step 1: Saute’ Broccoli
The healthiest way to cook your broccoli is lightly sauteed in a little oil with garlic.  Simply heat the oil in a saute pan, add garlic, then cook the broccoli until desired tenderness.  Be sure not to overcook!

Step 2: Sprinkle with Yeast
Sprinkle brewer’s yeast on top of the finished product and enjoy!

 

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Himalayan Beans

Chicken and green beans are great sources of chromium.  This super easy to make meal packs a chromium punch.

Benefits
Just one half cup of green beans contains 3 percent of your daily value.  Paired with a 6 oz Chicken breast you recieve 5% of your daily value.

Ingredients
6-ounce chicken breast
Oil
Green Beans
Himalayan Salt
Chopped Garlic
½ Lemon

Recipe

Step 1: Steam Green Beans
Fill the steamer with 2 inches of water.  While the steam is building, remove ends and add fresh green beans, cook for about 7 minutes, remove and put on a plate.

Step 2: Saute Chicken
Heat pan on medium-high heat, add oil, sprinkle Himalayan salt and some pepper on each side of the breast.  Saute in the pan, flipping frequently to prevent burning.  Once cooked (about 5-10 minutes depending on thickness) remove from heat.

Step 3: Finish Green Beans
Reduce heat to medium, add oil.  Then, add chopped garlic to pan, heat for a minute.  Add cooked beans, saute for a minute or two.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with Himalayan Salt.

Step 4: Plate and Serve
Put chicken breast and beans on a plate.  Squeeze lemon over the entire dish to provide a fresh zing to the meal.

 

3 Chromium-Rich PLN Meals

No not clean and jerk, get lean and eat our Jerk… chicken.  Then next time you’re on the island you won’t be afraid to take off your shirt. Ya Mon!

Tender pulled chicken with a pronounced spice rest over a yellow and green bed of rice and veg reminiscent of the Jamaican flag.

Jerk Chicken packs a chromium-punch.

Curry favor with your fitness.  This spicy delight is a sure fire way to reaching your desired health results.  Curry Chicken packs chromium, with Chicken, Peas and Broccoli all providing the mineral.

Sweet Chili Chicken has two super chromium foods in the dish, giving you more of the mineral you need.

Create a Chromium Rich Meal Plan

Our ready-to-eat healthy meals are chef-designed and nutritionist-approved so you get real results.