Food and Supplement Sources of Iron, Magnesium and Chromium
I wrote an article recently about the effects of trace element deficiencies and psychological symptoms. It came to my attention that more information should be raised on how to increase your levels of these trace elements. There are of course a variety of food sources for these elements, as well as supplements that can be taken. Sometimes however it is difficult to know which foods and supplements supply the best nutrient sources and bio availability.
In this article I will cover the three elements iron, magnesium and chromium, which I talked about in my article How Deficiencies in Trace Elements can cause Psychological Imbalances.
Iron is found in liver, meat, fish, eggs, pulses and beans, nuts and seeds, dried fruits and wholegrains. The best, most bio available iron is attached to a heme protein, and these come from animal meat. Non-heme is less bio available as it is not attached to a heme protein, hence it is called non-heme iron. It is also important to note that non-heme iron’s uptake can be inhibited when these foods are combined with calcium in dairy or from polyphenols found in teas, coffee and cocoa drinks. This issue can be reduced when the food you eat is combined with vitamin C rich foods such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, peas or leafy greens. Please note that liver should not be consumed if you are pregnant as it has high levels of retinol, preformed vitamin A.
There are a number of good products on the market. I recommend Salus-Haus – Floradix Iron & Herbs -17 oz which is a fairly mild form of iron and easy to digest. The problem with high doses of iron supplements is they can cause constipation. I suggest Thorne Research – Iron Bisglycinate – 25 mg Iron Supplement for Enhanced Absorption Without Gastrointestinal Side Effects – NSF Certified for Sport – 60 Capsules as it does not cause constipation and is highly bio available.
A number of variables have to be considered when talking about doses, depending on age and sex, but doses should in general not exceed 27mg per day.
Magnesium deficiency is also quite common today, due to the fact that the high magnesium content in grains, beans and oils is lost in the processing of these products. In the processing of wholegrains, as much as 80-95% of magnesium is lost. Magnesium can be food in beans and nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables. Magnesium in oils is non-existent, like for example safflower oil, although the seeds before refining contain 680mg per 1000 calories.
Choosing a supplement is often the best choice, however knowing which one is appropriate to your requirements may be difficult. I want to try and break it down a little for you. I suggest avoiding magnesium oxide and sulfate due to their low bioavailability.
The magnesium’s with the highest bioavailability include:
Magnesium Glycinate, Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate Lysinate, 100% Chelated, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, 200 mg, 240 Tablets.
Lysinate can be used to help support gastric health, Magnesium Chloride to nourish and soothe the skin, Magnesium Orotate to support Heart Health, Magnesium Threonate, Magnesium L- Threonate-(2,042 Mg), Patented Original Magtein Supplement From MIT Inventors to Clear Brain Fog, Support Sleep, Mood, Focus and Memory – 30 day supply- 60 ct. Veggie Capsules as it helps with mental sharpness and cognitive health, Magnesium Malate supports ATP production and cellular energy and finally Magnesium Taurate is used for heart health and calmness.
Chromium can be found in many different foods. Brewer’s yeast has one of the highest content of chromium. Other great sources can be found in broccoli, whole grains, wheat germ, bran cereal, orange juice, romaine lettuce, raw onions, potatoes, green beans, raw tomatoes, black pepper and grape juice. Increasing your intake of these foods is the easiest and safest way to get your daily dose.¨
If you decide to take a supplement you may want to take it in liquid form so it is easier to absorb. Like iron, chromium is best absorbed with Vitamin C. Again depending on age and sex I recommend around 25-35mcg per day. One of the products I recommend include Douglas Laboratories® – Chromium-GTF 200 – Trace Mineral Supports Healthy Metabolism* – 100 Capsules
Trace elements are essential to your physical and mental health. Choose mindfully foods or supplements that will ensure your nutrients are balanced. Do not exceed recommended amounts as excessive supplementation can be just as detrimental as a deficiency.