Zinc is a mineral that helps maintain the immune system. It is an important mineral because the body can’t produce zinc by itself. Zinc enters your body when certain foods are eaten. Too much zinc can hurt the immune system while too little creates a deficiency. Supplements are a great way to get zinc if you don’t have access to the right foods.
Zinc is called a trace substance because the body only needs a small amount. Zinc takes part in strengthening the immune system, maintains sense of smell, builds proteins, maintains sexual and pregnancy health, and helps produce DNA. Zinc can also be used as a natural insect repellent. There are over 300 enzymes and 3,000 proteins that require zinc in order to function properly.
Zinc also helps with digestion, controls diabetes, lowers stress, decreases acne, is great for the eyes, and even fights the common cold. You could say that zinc is kind of a big deal because it really does play a major role in keeping the body happy.
Since zinc is a trace substance you only need a little bit to keep your body happy. Males need approximately 11 mg of zinc per day and women need about 8 mg of zinc per day. There are many foods that contain zinc but if none of these foods satisfy your taste buds there are supplements out there that will do the same. The body doesn’t absorb the same amount of zinc each day, it depends on how active you are (i.e. exercise) during the day. So monitor your zinc intake and don’t take too much as it can hurt your body.
The top foods that contain zinc are:
1) Oysters – 16-182mg per 100g serving.
2) Toasted Wheat Germ – 17mg per 100g serving.
3) Veal Liver – 12mg per 100g serving.
4) Sesame Seeds and Tahini – 10mg/4.6mg per 100g serving.
5) Low Fat Roast Beef – 10mg per 100g serving.
6) Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds – 10mg per 100g serving.
7) Dried Watermelon Seeds – 10 mg per 100g serving.
8) Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder – 9.6mg/6.8mg per 100g serving.
9) Lamb – 4.2-8.7mg per 100g serving.
10) Peanuts – 6.6mg per 100g serving.
If none of these foods sound tasty, seek out a zinc supplement. The best supplement is zinc picolinate as it is absorbed quickly and doesn’t have any side effects.