Zinc is an essential nutrient in the body. To be specific, it is known as a “trace element”– which means it is required in very small quantities in the body for the various organs to do their jobs properly. It is recommended that adults should take in about 8 to 10 gram of zinc every day.
However, what is interesting is that our body does not always get this required amount of zinc from the daily diet that most of us take regularly. Zinc is rare in natural food or we simply do not consume zinc rich food on a daily basis. This is why zinc deficiency in the body occurs, which could lead to several health problems like:
- Diarrhea in children
- Prevent growth and development of the body
- Could cause wounds to heal slowly
- Might also cause problems in the ovaries in women.
- Hair loss
Sources of Zinc:
It is necessary to consume foods high in zinc to eliminate the chances of deficiency. Some of the natural sources of zinc are:
- Meat and seafood: Meat like chicken, mutton, and beef are good sources of zinc. Seafood like oysters also contains zinc in optimum amounts.
- Nuts: All kinds of nuts contain zinc is high doses, especially almond, cashews, and walnuts. Having a handful of nuts daily can help you combat zinc deficiency.
- Lentils: Among the plant sources, zinc is found abundantly in lentils. Chickpeas, grams, and other kinds of lentils are considered one of the best foods with zinc and they also have very little calories. Hence, consuming them in optimum amounts will not result in weight gain.
- Mushroom: Another food high in zinc is mushrooms. Mushrooms are easily available and there are several varieties. Hence, you can choose any variety you like, without having to compromise on taste.
- Yogurt: After the milk is converted to yogurt, the zinc concentration increases and that is a very good source of zinc. You can consume the low-fat variety in case you want to eliminate extra calories.
- Seeds: If you are wondering which foods are high in zinc amongst plant sources, there are various kinds of seeds which you can rely on. Hemp seeds have a very high dose of zinc with about 30% zinc in every 100% you consume. Other good sources are pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, and sesame seeds.
Why you might have to take Zinc supplements from time to time?
While the entire above mentioned list of foods are good sources of zinc and they more or less seem easily accessible, we do not always consume them in optimum amounts which can meet the daily requirements of the body. Even if we consume the food item, the cooking method used to prepare them often destroys some of the nutritional value and the zinc content of the food item goes down.
For example, processed meat will have far less quantity of zinc than fresh meat so even if you do end up consuming a good amount of meat in a day, there are chances that the daily requirements will not be met.
This is why it becomes important to take in zinc supplements from time to time, with the advice of a physician, of course.
Reasons for taking zinc:
Zinc supplements are designed to meet your daily zinc requirements.
- It can help prevent hair fall, helps in growth
- It also helps fight obesity.
- Most importantly, it is responsible for increasing the body’s immunity and can help it fight a number of illnesses like common flu.
- It can also prevent infection in the body and helps in healing wounds faster. It also prevents infections in the airway and throat.
- It helps prevent macular degeneration with age and improves vision.
- It can also help combat male infertility and maintain the health of reproductive organs in women.
- With its antiviral properties, it will also provide the required strength to the body to fight the current pandemic.
Supplements are found in tablet forms and all you have to do is take a pill twice a day.
Note: To take in more zinc, some tend to consume the natural sources of zinc in high quantities. However, a fact that most people are not aware of is that zinc appears in nature in sync with another chemical known as cadmium. While cadmium is also needed by the body, too much of it over very long periods could lead to problems like kidney failure. Taking a zinc supplement such as Zinc 50mg will only meet the zinc requirements in the body and prevent an overdose of cadmium.
Thus, zinc has several beneficial effects on the body, which is why it is important to avoid a deficiency. A good and measured diet and some supplements will pave the way for a sound body for you.