Zinc: Health Benefits and Food Sources.



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Zinc, a nutrient found throughout your body, helps your immune system and metabolism function. Zinc is also important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell.     

With a varied diet, your body usually gets enough zinc.       


Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including:  

  • Gene expression.    
  • Enzymatic reactions.     
  • Immune function.    
  • Protein synthesis.      
  • DNA synthesis.       
  • Wound healing.       
  • Growth and development.    

Zinc is also needed for your senses of taste and smell.  

Because one of the enzymes crucial for proper taste and smell is dependent on this nutrient,     

a zinc deficiency can reduce your ability to taste or smell.     

Health Benefits of Zinc.           

Zinc helps keep your immune system strong.         

Zinc is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for burns, certain ulcers and other skin injuries.        

May Reduce the Risk of Certain Age-Related Diseases.    

May Help Treat Acne.        

Several studies and trials have linked poor zinc status with low sperm quality.      


Food Sources.       

Many animal and plant foods are naturally rich in zinc, making it easy for most people to consume adequate amounts.       

Foods highest in zinc include:        

Oysters, crab, mussels, lobster and clams.        

Beef, pork, lamb and bison.         

Turkey and chicken.       

Flounder, sardines, salmon and sole.        

Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.         

Pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.         

Milk, yogurt and cheese.       

Eggs.      

Oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.       

Mushrooms, kale, peas, asparagus and beet greens.       

Animal products, such as meat and shellfish, contain high amounts of zinc in a form that your body easily absorbs.        

Keep in mind that zinc found in plant-based sources like legumes and whole grains.      

is absorbed less efficiently because of other plant compounds that inhibit absorption.       

While many foods are naturally high in zinc, certain foods.  

such as ready to eat breakfast cereals, snack bars and baking flours are fortified with zinc.       

Most people meet the requirements for zinc of 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women through diet,      

but older adults and people with diseases that inhibit zinc absorption may need to supplement.       

Because high-dose zinc supplements can lead to side effects,      

it’s important to stick to recommendations and only take supplements when necessary.      


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