Best sources of essential chromium for the elderly

Chromium, a crucial mineral, helps to maintain the blood glucose levels and aids in standard performance of the human body. Many of our diets are low in chromium, as most of us, due to our busy schedules, prefer processed foods that lack chromium. People who are more prone to shortage of chromium include elderly people, people with heavy workouts, pregnant and lactating women. Deficiency of chromium can give rise to various health hazards like diabetes, heart ailments, increase in cholesterol and blood sugar levels. 20-35 micrograms of chromium is the daily requirement for elderly people.

Brewer’s yeast

It is a derivative of wine and widely used as nutritional appendage, as is enriched with chromium. It is included in the preparation of soya sauce, vegemite, marmite and used as a spread on toasts and bread. It is a low carb and low fat diet. 1-2 tsps. of brewer’s yeast will suffice your daily requirement of chromium. Due to the presence of chromium, brewer’s yeast helps in lowering the blood sugar levels, relieves diarrhea, and improves the body mechanism in fighting viral infections like cold and flu. It is also useful in curing premenstrual syndromes and loss of appetite.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato is one of the nutritious and healthy vegetables that can be included in your daily diet. It is enriched with chromium, many vitamins and minerals, free of fat and contains very less calories. It aids in the prevention of many ailments like diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, cancer, stomach ulcers, asthma and bronchitis. Sweet potatoes should be boiled and consumed in moderate levels as they are high in sugar. People with digestive and gall bladder ailments should avoid them completely.

Corn

Corn is the best source of chromium, vitamins B and C, beta carotene and fiber. As it is loaded with carbohydrates, it should be consumed in limited quantities. In order to get the benefits, refrain from using butter or any other dairy products while cooking corn. Instead you can use pepper or chilies, which are rich sources of chromium. Corn is widely used in preparing many food items like salads and pizzas across the world. Corn is rich in phytochemicals and helps in curing many chronic diseases like cancer, pellagra and constipation.

Whole grains

Some of the common whole grains rich in chromium include whole wheat, oats, maize, quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grains and buckwheat. Avoid using refined products and stick to the use of whole grain cereals. But remember, as they are fiber rich, try to consume more of vegetable and fruit juices, soups and water. It might otherwise lead to constipation, a common problem among elderly people. People with digestive disorders should limit the usage of whole grains to a single bowl per day.

Meat and sea food

Lean meat, poultry, turkey, lean beef, sea foods like shellfish and oysters are enriched with chromium. But stick to the natural sources and refrain from using refined meat as it lack chromium. Sea foods and meat are worldwide acclaimed foods. Avoid using more oil or butter while cooking. Elders should consume these foods in moderate quantity, as they are rich in fat and hard to digest. Instead they can opt for eggs. It is advisable to include foods rich in chromium, rather using chromium supplements.

Fruits

We need different kinds of fruits to maintain good health. Certain fruits like apple, banana, grapes and oranges are good source for chromium. Apples have high nutritive values and aid in proper functioning of liver, brain and bowels and help in eliminating harmful substances from the body. Bananas are considered to be a balanced diet as it comprises of essential vitamins and nutrients that aid in tissue building components. Grapes are also good components of chromium that aid in proper functioning of heart and other internal organs. Oranges are good source of vitamin C that aid in fighting diseases. So elders, try to include all these fruits in your daily diet in the form of juice or salad.

Vegetables

Tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, spinach are good sources of chromium and contain many health benefits. Tomatoes have many nutritional values, minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants. They help to cure cancer and in proper functioning of the body. Tomatoes have low calories that help in shedding weight. Spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of all vitamins and minerals and a good source of calcium which help in proper maintenance of teeth and bones. So elders, do include a bowl of tomato or spinach soup in your daily diet.

Beetroot and mushrooms

Beetroot is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. It helps in curing many ailments like hypertension, cancer, anemia. Including a glass of beetroot juice into the daily diet will help elders in solving many of their health problems. Mushrooms are good source for chromium and help in curing ailments like cancer, diabetes, and reducing the cholesterol levels. It increases immunity and helps in losing weight. So elders who are diabetic and have other health problems, should include mushrooms in their daily diet in the form of salad with boiled beetroot and mushrooms. To this, add lettuce or basil leaves, green and black peppers, green onions and green chili. All these are again a good source for chromium.

Onion and garlic

Onions and garlic are natural foods that assist us to protect from various diseases. They are helpful in fighting ailments like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, various cancers and diabetes. They facilitate in maintaining the cholesterol levels. Hence, it is good to include onions and garlic that can enhance the taste of our daily foods and provide health benefits. Good for elderly people.

An extreme intake of chromium might cause glucose intolerance. People using medicines like antacids, anti inflammatory drugs and people with anemia, liver or kidney problems should not take chromium without consulting health experts.

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