Zinc In Your Diet – Why You Should Include It!
Zinc is an essential trace element found amongst the metallic elements of the Periodic Table. Zinc has a variety of uses other than the common natural cold remedy. It is needed daily in small amounts for the maintenance of good health and to perform important functions within the body.
Zinc has several benefits to the body including facilitating digestion, improving immunity, helps with the production of hormones and in growth and repair of cells. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
How much Zinc do we need?
Zinc is very important to the body and even a small deficiency can result in an increased risk for diabetes and infertility. It is also needed for healthy cell division and has antioxidizing properties.
The USDA recommends that a healthy adult includes 8-9mg/day of Zinc for women and 11mg/day for men. In children, depending on their specific age, it is recommended that the daily intake of Zinc is between 3-8mg/day.
Zinc can be found in many forms including Lozenges, gels, syrups, and capsules. It is also found in most multivitamin and mineral supplements.
The highest levels of Zinc are found in foods that are protein-rich such as seafood, high-quality meat, and dairy. It is also found in legumes and grains and is normally added to packaged foods such as breakfast cereals.
However, the latter sources are not considered the best because it isn’t as easily absorbed because it is bound to anti-nutrients such ad phytates which prevent Zinc absorption.
Zinc deficiency is on the rise, especially in the US where carbohydrates are replacing high-quality protein sources but also because impaired digestive systems cannot adequately absorb it.
Top health benefits of Zinc
Treatment for the common cold – This is probably its most common use. When taken for a period of at least 5 months, Zinc has the ability to decrease your chances of getting sick with the common cold and if you are already sick, it can speed up the healing process.
Acts as a powerful antioxidant that may help in the fight against cancer – Zinc is an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and it is known to decrease the development of disease, thus is used as a natural cancer treatment. It has the ability to promote healthy cell division and prevent mutation of cancer cells.
Diabetes control – Zinc balances hormones naturally in the body including insulin, which is the main hormone involved in regulation of blood sugar and is a diabetes cure.
Supports blood vessels thereby maintaining a healthy heart – Zinc does this by lowering inflammation and oxidative stress, maintaining healthy cells within the cardiovascular system. It is also a natural remedy for high blood pressure.
Preventing diarrhea – acute diarrhea can be treated with Zinc supplements when the condition gets out of hand.
Increasing fertility – Zinc modulates serum testosterone levels in men, increasing fertility. It also does the same in women since adequate levels of Zinc are needed during the growth process of ovaries otherwise they cannot mature properly.
Balancing Hormones – Zinc increases testosterone naturally, which benefits both men and women and is needed for the production of both estrogen and progesterone in women.
Nutrient absorption and Digestion – Protein synthesis is increased by Zinc and is required by the body to effectively use amino acids from foods. It is also used in the breakdown of carbohydrates from our diet, which are the main source of energy for the body.
Supporting liver health – Zinc supplements reduce the incidence of infection-related with lower levels of liver damage. It also helps with cleansing of the liver and reduces damage by free radicals.
Helps with repair and muscle growth – Zinc plays an important role in cell growth and division.