We all need nutrients so that we can maintain proper body functions. There’s no doubt that every vitamin and mineral that we take is important, but one nutrient that’s often overlooked is Zinc. This is because we oThe Benefits of Zinc and What It Can Do for Our Bodiesnly need a tiny amount of it, which is usually about 9 to 10 milligrams worth, which is approximately the same amount as three sesame seeds.
Zinc is a necessary nutrient because various enzymes in our bodies perform different functions—all of which need zinc. In other words, zinc is the backbone of our bodily functions and is the reason why we can move at all.
Zinc offers various other benefits, which we will be discussing in this article. Read on below to learn more.
1 - Aids Growth and Development in Children
Zinc is an essential mineral for growing children because it helps in the development of bones. Aside from that, it also has other functions such as building proteins, healing damaged tissues, and improving the immune system. Bone growth is also facilitated because zinc is crucial for the synthesis of proteins.
2 - Prevents Vision Loss
Zinc has been proven to prevent vision loss caused by the eye disease known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Aside from that, it also slows down developing AMDs in people. The National Eye Institute has stated that daily supplements containing at least 80mg of zinc combined with antioxidants and copper reduce the risk of developing AMD by 25%.
3 - Helps Fight Common Colds
As soon as you notice the onset of common cold symptoms, it’s recommended that you take zinc. Zinc fights the common cold by preventing the rhinovirus from multiplying. It may also stop the rhinovirus from lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. It's recommended that you take it in lozenge or syrup form because it allows the substance to stay in the throat and come in contact with the rhinovirus for healing.
4 - Improves Mood
Research has shown that some mental health conditions are linked to zinc deficiency. Therefore, some depression treatment regimens place zinc supplements at their centre. Zinc’s presence in the brain allows for interaction with critical receptors that help drive the production of serotonin, a chemical that's often referred to as the “happy chemical” for its vital role in our mood.
5 - Boosts Brain Function
When you're older, you must maintain your brain function, and zinc can do just that. Zinc plays a significant role in maintaining an impressive rate of brain cell regeneration and overall neurological health. This is also the explanation as to why Alzheimer's disease and zinc deficiency are related.
How to Get More Zinc
The only way you can get more zinc is by eating zinc-rich foods. Some examples include:
- Breakfast cereals - 1 cup of cereals contains 20mg of zinc
- Crab - 1 serving of king crab leg contains 4.5mg of zinc
- Lobster - a serving of small steamed lobster contains 4mg of zinc
- Oysters - an ounce of oyster includes 11mg of zinc
As you can see, these foods are meat and animal products. Because of this, vegetarians and vegans are more prone to zinc deficiency. Additionally, zinc found in plants can’t be absorbed much by the body, so they need to get twice as many amounts of zinc.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to overdose on zinc. The symptoms of too much zinc are diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. For this reason, it’s recommended to get zinc from food rather than supplements because they tend to contain more zinc.
Zinc is an essential mineral that's recommended for you to consume daily. If you suspect that you might be suffering from too much or too little zinc, discuss it with your doctor so you can get the proper treatment.
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