What is chromium and what are the benefits of chromium in preventing glaucoma? Preventing glaucoma and other eye diseases is a top priority for many people. Understanding the steps you can take to lower your risk of developing glaucoma can be difficult. However, one mineral, in particular, contains a number of health benefits including a lowered risk of glaucoma: chromium. Learn more about this mineral here.

Knowing The Benefits Of Chromium For Glaucoma Prevention

In This Article:

Chromium: The Basics

Chromium is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many foods. Studies have shown that chromium,typically trivalent chromium, can help boost the effectiveness of insulin and reduce blood glucose levels. Chromium works by helping to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in a person’s diet. Chromium supplements are also available to assist those who cannot get enough chromium through diet alone.

The average person does not need a significant amount of chromium in their diet. However, because required chromium levels are so low, it can be easy to fall short of your daily recommended value. Leading doctors believe that as many as half of all Americans have some chromium deficiency.

The Health Benefits of Chromium

As previously mentioned, chromium helps to break down–or metabolize–certain key substances that are part of an everyday diet. This includes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates found in food. Chromium can assist in regulating blood sugar levels as well. In doing so, chromium helps ensure that the insulin in your body delivers the right level of glucose to your cells. This, in turn, helps guarantee that your cells have the correct energy stores.

What do chromium levels have to do with glaucoma prevention? A deficiency in chromium has been linked scientifically to type 2 diabetes. Having any form of diabetes increases your chances of developing diabetic eye disease. Glaucoma is one of the most common types of diabetic eye disease. In fact, those with diabetes develop glaucoma at twice the rate as those without diabetes. Getting enough chromium picolinate can lower your inulin levels and help metabolize blood sugar, particularly for those with type 2 diabetes. This can help prevent those with type 2 diabetes from facing diabetic eye disease including glaucoma.

Including enough chromium in your diet also offers other health benefits. Some studies have linked chromium with weight loss. Other double-blind placebo-controlled studies have suggested that chromium can help lower cholesterol levels and heart disease risk as well as helping to combat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The Top Ten Foods Rich in Chromium

While taking a chromium picolinate dietary supplement is a quick way to boost your chromium intake, some of the best sources of chromium are the foods you include in your diet. The following foods are all rich in chromium and can be easily incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet:

1. Broccoli

Broccoli | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Just a half cup of broccoli contains almost a third of the daily recommended value of chromium for an adult. Of course, broccoli is a healthy addition to any diet and can easily be added to any meal. Steam broccoli and add it to a salad or eat it alongside lean protein, stir-fry broccoli florets with chicken or beef for an Asian-inspired dish, or puree broccoli to create a creamy soup.

2. Barley

Barley | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Barley is packed with chromium: a third of cup has almost a quarter of the daily recommended value. Try using barley to give crunch to a salad or make a soup with it for added thickness.

3. Grape Juice or Wine

Grape Juice or Wine | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Both grape juice and wine have a high chromium content. The average cup of juice has about 23 percent of your daily recommended value, while wine can have between five and 15 percent per glass.

4. Oats

Oats | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Oats are one of the most adaptable healthy ingredients around, and one-fourth of a cup of oats has about 15 percent of the daily recommended value of chromium. Try eating oatmeal for breakfast (with a cup of grape or orange juice for an extra boost of chromium).

5. Potatoes

Potatoes | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Thanks to their versatility, potatoes are a cornerstone of many American diet–and they contain a lot of chromium, too. Just one cup of potatoes can deliver almost a tenth of your daily recommended value.

6. Beef

Beef | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Many Americans’ diets include a lot of beef; luckily, beef contains a significant amount of chromium. A three-ounce serving of beef in all its forms offers about five percent of the daily recommended value of the mineral. This serving suggestion is perfect for adding beef to a casserole or stew alongside whole grains and vegetables.

7. Green Beans

Green Beans | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Just one cup of green beans contains about five percent of the daily recommended value of chromium. Green beans make the perfect accompaniment to lean proteins and whole grains. You can also add cooked green beans to salads or casseroles.

8. Orange Juice

Orange Juice | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

A glass of orange juice in the morning is an important part of breakfast for many people. That cup of delicious orange juice also provides significant amounts of chromium. One cup contains about five percent of your daily recommended value.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Tomatoes are found in a wide variety of foods, from pasta sauces to healthy sandwiches. These red fruits also contain a lot of chromium–about four percent of the daily recommended value. By themselves or as part of a recipe, tomatoes are clearly part of an eye healthy-diet.

10. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce | Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium

Romaine lettuce acts as a crunchy base in many recipes from salads to spring rolls. This type of lettuce also contains as much as four percent of your daily recommended value of chromium, making it a great way to add crunch and support eye health.

Learn more about the benefits of chromium with this video from Lifestyle Medicine:

Glaucoma Prevention: What Foods Are High In Chromium?

Many other foods also contain significant amounts of chromium, including eggs, milk, bananas, apples, chicken, pears, shellfish, pork chops, turkey breast, brown rice, and other whole grains. However you choose to get your daily recommended value of chromium, from the foods you eat or a dietary supplement, rest easy knowing that you are protecting your eye health and warding off the chances of developing glaucoma. Knowing the benefits of chromium can help you prevent glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Do you get enough chromium in your diet? If not, which foods will you start consuming to get more of this mineral in your body? Comment below!

Up Next: Macular Degeneration Prevention: What Foods Are High In Zinc?


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