Zinc is an essential mineral that affects our immune, hormonal and digestive systems. It is also used to synthesize protein, and DNA. Zinc plays a vital role in ensuring optimal functioning of our sense of taste, smell as well as our vision. And, even though the amount needed for proper functioning of the body is relatively small, its importance is paramount.
If you are a vegetarian, pregnant / lactating woman, struggling with anorexia, or taking diuretics, you are at a high risk of Zinc deficiency. With vegetarians being in the high risk zone, it would be advisable to focus on a Zinc-rich diet, if you do not eat meat, or very little of it.
Signs of deficiency:
- Poor immunity
- Stretch marks
- White spots on your nails
- Poor wound healing
- Poor sense of taste or smell
- Poor growth (mostly in children)
- Regulates Immune Function
- Treats diarrhoea
- Positively affects memory
- Helps prevent age-related eye damage (Macular Degeneration -AMD)
- Supports the reproductive system and fertility
- Boosts skin healing process
- Helps prevent Acne
My picks of zinc-rich foods:
- Wheat Germ
- Sesame Seeds
- Pumpkin & Squash Seeds
- Cocoa Powder / Chocolate
- Beans (especially Baked Beans and Adzuki)
- Nuts (especially Cashews, Pine Nuts, Pecans and Brazil Nuts)
- Napa Cabbage
- Cheddar cheese and Mozzarella
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Ginger Root
- Dried Apricots
All of my choices are vegetarian. However, if you do eat meat, it is good to keep in mind that, animal foods are a better source of Zinc (Beef, Lamb, Pork).
Is is worth mentioning, that Iron inhibits Zinc absorption. This however, only applies when taking Iron as a supplement. Therefore “experts recommend that iron supplements be taken between meals“.
Refined Sugars require zinc to metabolize, reducing your Zinc levels.
Detailed information about daily value content (DV%) can be found on healthaliciousness.com