A person who does not have enough zinc in his or her body might suffer from infertility, loss of appetite, delayed wound healing, hair loss and chronic fatigue among others.
What are the benefits of zinc?
Boosts your immune system
When your body is low in zinc, it causes the rapid decline of the function of T-cells in your body. T-cells are the ones that elevate the immune system of your body when it is exposed to viruses, bacteria or other diseases. When your zinc levels are not at optimum levels, it weakens your T-cells, which cannot fight off the bacteria. Recent studies show that people who have low zinc levels are more at risk to suffer from diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and certain cancers.
Improves Cardiovascular System
Do you know what the endothelium is? Endothelium, according to Wikipedia, is the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. When this part of the body loses its function, it almost always leads to vascular disease. When your body has deficiency in zinc, this causes the endothelial barrier to dysfunction, leading to high cholesterol levels and inflammation which can put you at risk for heart disease. Having enough zinc levels can help prevent heart disease to happen.
Vital for fertility for men and women
For men, having adequate zinc levels helps protect the prostate gland from infections, and also enlargement. For men with low zinc, it inhibits the production of testosterone, which could put them at risk to getting prostate cancer.
For women, this mineral is vital for the growth of the egg. IF they are deficient, the egg will not mature correctly, and ovulation will not happen. This will lead to infertility. Zinc also helps the woman’s body to efficiently use estrogen and progesterone, ensuring that it’s doing its correct function in the body. High levels of estrogen may lead to breast cancer.
Sources of Zinc
Although zinc supplements are readily available in drugstores, here are some natural sources of this essential mineral that you can consume for your daily dietary intake.
Oysters – If you love shellfish then this won’t be a problem for you. The food with the highest zinc is the Wild Eastern Oyster, providing 76 mg for every 6 oysters you eat.
Veal liver – if you are a fan of pate, then the taste of veal liver won’t be so foreign to you. This time though, try to eat is as a liver itself, without all the added ingredients (and calories!) of a pate. To make it taste better, you can add your favorite herb or serve it with your favorite side dish too.
Dark Chocolate – Yes! Again, this is such good news. Eating a bar of unsweetened chocolate will give you about 64% of the daily value of zinc you need to take! Great news, right?
Pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds
If you are a vegan, then this is perfect for you. If you can find them at your local supermarket, then try looking at specialty stores, specifically Asian or Middle Eastern.
Zinc is needed by everyone, from infants to senior citizens. It’s important that we make sure that we are taking enough food or supplements to meet our daily zinc need.
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