What is zinc? How do you determine whether you need it? Should you take a zinc supplement? Zinc is a nutritional mineral, unfamiliar to many, that is crucial to healthy metabolism and our general well-being.
Why do we need zinc?
· Zinc is a “cofactor.” It participates directly in enzyme activity, and is a necessary support to hundreds of them.
· Zinc deficiency has a direct impact on the immune and reproductive systems, as well as skin and vision health.
W What are the key benefits of zinc?
· Proper Immune Function. Reduced immunity, especially in the elderly, can be reversed and repaired quickly by improving zinc levels.
· Skin Health. Researchers have determined that acne, rashes, foot fungus, and canker sores can be alleviated through boosted zinc levels.
· Full Sensory Organ Performance. Zinc is important to the sense of taste, and crucial for vision.
· Optimal Male Reproductive Health. Zinc helps protect sperm motility and quantity.
H How do you get more zinc in your diet?
· Since so many biological systems depend on zinc, dietary inclusion is crucial. Unfortunately, few foods provide sufficient amounts of the mineral. No one food supplies the recommended 11 milligrams of zinc per day.
· Zinc deficiency is not much of an issue in the US, due to a significant amount of beef and zinc-fortified cereals in the American diet.
· Zinc and copper work together in the body, much like other nutrient pairings such as sodium and potassium, or calcium and magnesium. You may be able to strike a healthy balance of zinc and copper in your diet to keep levels from dipping too low or too high. Good food choices include seeds, which are good sources of both minerals.
· Oysters, grass-fed beef and lamb, along with mushrooms are zinc-rich foods to try.
· Zinc supplements are also a good way to amend a lack of adequate zinc food sources.
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