Zinc is an essential mineral in our body and is the second most abundant one to Iron. When you think zinc, you might think common cold and so only think of increasing your zinc intake every so often and perhaps usually on those seasonal changes. However, zinc is required in small amounts every day for a wide variety of uses from enzymatic functions that aid in nerve, digestion and metabolism to your taste and smell. With farming practices the way they are and the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides on mass produced foods I’m surprised if there is any zinc left in anything brought conventionally. Hence, the need for good nutritious food and food-based supplementation.
Why is Zinc important?
Zinc is one of those essential minerals that your body cannot produce or store. Which means what you eat just became extremely important! In other words what goes in gets used. Thankfully, there are both plant and animal sources of zinc available. It is wise to avoid foods that are fortified with synthetic forms of zinc e.g. breakfast cereals, baking flours, snack bars, which are all foods we recommend you don’t eat anyway, because they contain phytates which can significantly reduce your zinc absorption and may even contribute to deficiency.
Other important roles of zinc in your body include:
- It is active in over 300 enzymatic functions that aid in nerve function, digestion, and metabolism to name a few.
- It is critical in the development and function of your immune cells
- It is important in cell growth and division which means it is important for growth and development.
- It is important for taste and smell
- It helps to break down carbohydrates
Are you getting enough zinc in your diet?
Low zinc levels can contribute to your digestive, hormonal or chronic health challenges. Zinc will certainly contribute to you thriving rather than surviving. Deficiency is more common than you might think and commonly occurs in those following a plant-based diet (vegetarian and dairy free) because these diets remove the top zinc food sources. But, it does’t have to be that way! Best sources of zinc from most to least are grass-fed lamb and beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, chicken, turkey, eggs, mushrooms, salmon (wild) and cocao powder!
What are the signs of zinc deficiency?
There are many signs of zinc deficiency and the top eight ones interestingly mimic what we are seeing in the world today with the novel (new) coronavirus (common cold). Umm… makes you wonder if people getting diagnosed with Covid-19 are missing an underlying cause, such as a zinc deficiency.
- Nerve dysfunction
- Low immunity
- Chronic cough, nausea and fever
- Loose stools
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight loss
- Altered or loss of taste and smell
- Lymphocytes (white blood cells) decline
- Poor concentration and memory
- Hair loss
- Hormonal problems, including worsened PMS or menopause symptoms
- Slowed ability to heal wounds, skin infections or irritation
Why is zinc important? Here’s our top 5:
1. Increases immunity and helps when colds are created. Note: Some people suggest increasing your zinc when you have created a health expression however, we suggest that zinc foods should be part of your everyday eating for sustained health.
2. Helps with muscle growth and repair
3. Aids in nutrient absorption and digestion
4. Powerful antioxidant
5. Balances your hormones
Recommended amounts of zinc:
Infants: 0–6 months: 2 milligrams/day and 7–12 months: 3 milligrams/day
Children:1–3 years: 3 milligrams/day, 4–8 years: 5 milligrams/day and 9 –13 years: 8 milligrams/day
Adolescents and adults: Males age 14 and over: 11 milligrams/day, Females age 14 to 18 years: 9 milligrams/day, and Females age 19 and over: 8 milligrams/day
Our vital take home message?
Zinc is vital for your immune system, nerve function, inflammatory responses, oxidative stress and healing as well as being beneficial when you create the common cold. If you are not eating a variety of food which include foods rich in zinc then you might want to consider supplementation from organic foods sources such as our Vital Foods Organic Plant Derived Colloidal Minerals. On our blog I wrote an article about the importance of colloidal minerals and in that article I shared about supplementation and our stance on it. If you are interested in what is placed in laboratory made supplement pop over and have a read. We are big proponents of getting what your body requires from organic, natural, food-based sources. We have been an organic household since the very early 1990’s and want to make sure you are getting the best you can from the food you eat or the supplements you may require.
Here’s a quick Hummus Dip recipe to get some zinc into you. It’s a staple in our house!
You’re welcome to reprint this article when it is properly attributed to Drs Randall & Sarah Farrant with a link to https://vital-wellbeing.com/ and include the following: Since 1990 Drs Randall & Sarah Farrant have been global mentors to thousands of individuals, families, health professionals, celebrities and sporting personalities. They have facilitated and inspired people to live a vitalistic life.