What is zinc?
What does zinc do?
- The immune system: Low levels of zinc lead to reduced and weakened T-cells. An increase in zinc can help fight pneumonia, diarrhea, infections, and colds.
- Skin, hair, and nails: Zinc activates renewal of skin cells. Creams containing zinc are used for skin irritations, wounds, and acne.
- The reproductive system: Zinc plays a crucial role in reproductive health for both men and women. A zinc deficiency can contribute to infertility.
- The cardiovascular system: Zinc is reportedly involved in the regulation of arterial blood pressure.
- Overall growth and development: Zinc ensures proper growth of the fetus during pregnancy, and is essential in the growth and development processes of infants, children, and teens.
From what food sources can you get zinc?
1. Red meat
4. Fish and seafood
5. Whole cereals
6. Daily products
8. Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews
9. Zinc supplements or a daily multivitamin (for those who don’t get enough zinc in their normal diet)
Want to view how much zinc is in the foods you eat? Check out this chart.
Who is at risk of developing a zinc deficiency?
Low blood levels of zinc have been found in individuals with:
• Liver cirrhosis.
• Delayed wound healing.
• Diabetes-associated conditions such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and elevated levels of triglycerides.
What are the signs of zinc deficiency?
• Dull hair
• Brittle finger nails
• White spots on nails
• Reduced taste and smell
• Loss of appetite
• Mood swings
• Frequent skin infections
How can you sneak more zinc into your family’s diet?
2. Include poultry and red meat in your family’s diet.
3. Choose breakfast cereals that are high in zinc.
4. If following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, check with your healthcare provider to see if a zinc supplement might be necessary.
By incorporating these easy ideas, you can rest assured that your family’s diet will be rich in a necessary mineral that keeps their bodies growing and functioning properly. Zinc may sometimes be overlooked, but that doesn't make it any less important to your health.
Live Healthy. Live Smart.