Zinc is a very important trace mineral that plays a significant role in well over a hundred enzymatic reactions within the body. Luckily, there are quite a lot of foods rich in zinc.
This mineral works to protect the body against oxidative damages and helps with wound healing, while also making DNA and helping with the production of hemoglobin.
The symptoms of zinc deficiency will usually include frequent colds, consistent diarrhea, leaky gut, infertility, poor vision, stunted growth in children, thinning hair, and wounds that heal very slowly.
1) Those People Who Are Most at Risk for a Zinc Deficiency Include:
- Pregnant women;
- Vegetarians and vegans;
- Endurance athletes;
- People who consume too many iron supplements;
- People who have gastrointestinal diseases;
- People that are taking diuretic medications.
The recommended daily allowance of zinc is 11 mg per day for men and then 8 mg per day for women. The daily value comes in at 15 mg. If you happen to be deficient in zinc, animal foods will be better sources of zinc over plant foods, such as vegetables.
If you are vegetarian, there are still many foods rich in zinc that will fit into your diet planning. Options such as pumpkin seeds and chickpeas will offer a good amount of zinc for the body even though they are not products of animals
2) List of Top 10 Foods Rich in Zinc:
- Grass-Fed Beef – 3 ounces = 4.9 mg (33% DV)
- Kefir or Yogurt – one cup = 2.2 mg (15% DV)
- Lamb – 4 ounces = 4.6 mg (30% DV)
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) – one cup = 6.86 mg (46% DV)
- Pumpkin Seeds – one quarter cup = 2.5 mg (17% DV)
- Cashews – one ounce = 1.6 mg (10% DV)
- Cocoa Powder – one tablespoon = 0.3 mg (2% DV)
- Chicken – 3 ounces = 2.25 mg (15% DV)
- Mushrooms – one cup = 1.4 mg (9% DV)
- Spinach – one cup = 1.4 mg (9% DV)
If you want to be able to support optimal levels in your body, it is best to consume about 2 to 3 services of such foods that are rich in zinc.
3) Top 10 Zinc Supplements to Try
4) Top Health Benefits of Zinc
4.1) Eye Health
Zinc is necessary if you want to be able to convert vitamin A into the active form so that vision can occur. Enough intake of foods that are rich in zinc can improve night vision.
Those treated with supplemental zinc will also be 80% less likely to suffer from macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness.
4.2) Immune Function
The body has to have zinc to activate the body’s t-cells, which are suitable for immune function.
The role zinc plays in the replication of DNA will help the immune system to make new cells whenever they are needed. Those who are deficient in zinc will be susceptible to a number of illnesses.
4.3) Wound Healing and Acne
Zinc helps with skin integrity. Anyone with a wound that is actively healing that seems slow could have low iron levels and may need supplementation.
If you happen to have a cut, burn, or injury, you can think about increasing your intake of foods rich in zinc for the promotion of healing.
This will also relate to acne because the zinc will support a healthy digestive tract that impacts the skin.
4.4) Male Reproductive Health
An advanced deficiency in zinc can impair sperm regarding motility and number.
Studies have shown that men who eat a diet that is too low in zinc will have issues that will lead to a massive decrease in sperm quality as well as quantity.
Zinc also plays a significant role in prostate health, which may lead to the prevention of cancer if you have enough in your body.