Zinc is a trace element that is not produced by human body. It has ample significance in terms of body functioning and immunity, hence one has to find different sources to ensure proper zinc levels in body. This element is present naturally in various foods; however one needs to ensure proper consumption of zinc rich foods to avoid any kind of deficiency. As per studies, zinc has a major role to play in human immune system and its deficiency will highly affect one’s strength to fight against diseases.
Here are few important facts about zinc that are worth noting for healthy body and immune system.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is one of the essential nutrients required by your body to carry out various functions. This element cannot be produced or stored in the body. Hence, one would need constant supply of this mineral from food or from supplements. It is very important in processes like enzymatic reactions, immune system, protein synthesis, gene expression, healing of wounds, DNA synthesis, and for overall growth. Many products like cereals and flour are often fortified with zinc to ensure proper zinc intake in consumers.
Many medicines and sprays for cold also have zinc in order to support the immune function for faster recovery.
Key Benefits of Zinc
While zinc is one of the essential elements required by human body, there are various conditions that would require zinc supplements especially to overcome the symptoms by boosting the immunity. Some of the common applications of zinc are –
Diarrhea – Studies suggest that diarrhea can be effectively treated by zinc supplements. Children below 5 years of age often suffer from loose motion and the same can be treated by zinc pills. Giving zinc pills in event of diarrhea can help children recover faster and would also help them avoid it in future.
Healing of Wounds – Zinc has shown promising results in treating wounds and ulcers. Zinc deficiency would delay the healing process. Various skin creams for ulcers and wounds have zinc for faster healing. Topical application of zinc is quite common to treat ulcer and wounds.
Inflammation – Inflammation and age together can result into various chronic diseases. Zinc can work as anti-inflammatory. Deficiency of this element causes inflammation that result into some chronic conditions. Zinc intake from food and supplements would be beneficial in avoiding such condition.
Ageing of Eyes – Vision loss with age is quite common. This takes place due to retina damage caused by cellular degeneration. Zinc reduces macular degeneration caused due to ageing of eyes.
Zinc also plays vital role in memory, fertility, osteoporosis, pneumonia, common cold, skin problems, and other conditions triggered due to lower immunity and inflammation.
You would get zinc supplements with varied zinc content based on its dosage and application. Some of the natural food sources containing zinc that are worth exploring to lead health life are –
Legumes – Legumes are found to be good source of zinc for people following vegetarian or vegan diet. Consuming about 100 grams of cooked legumes can amount to almost 12% of your body’s daily need. However, it is not absorbed fully by the body. Absorption of zinc from animal sources is always better as compared to the plant sources. It is recommended to sprout or soak the legumes before consumption to ensure proper absorption.
Nuts – Nuts contain good amount of zinc, which is 15% of the daily zinc value required by your body. Consuming nuts like cashew nuts, almond, peanuts, pine nuts, and other such nuts would serve as good source of fiber, healthy fat, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients. Having nuts regularly will help in prevention of various diseases.
Seeds – Fiber rich seeds are also rich in zinc and other important vitamins. Some seeds like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds are very rich in zinc. Having about 30 grams of hemp seeds can amount to almost 30% to 40% of your daily zinc needs.
Dairy – Dairy products are rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Cheddar cheese contains very high amount of zinc. About 100 gram of cheddar cheese has zinc equivalent to 28% of your body’s daily need. Even full fat milk has good amount of zinc.
Apart from the above mentioned foods, zinc is found in quite a good quantity in eggs, poultry, shellfish, vegetables, and meat. Include zinc in your daily diet to ensure stronger immunity and better health.
Karishma is a freelance writer. Her positive thoughts and creative writing helped her to share her writing in high profile companies. Currently she is associated with Nutra Pure hCG. Her latest post about comparison about hCG vs. popular weight loss methods getting many eyeballs across the web.