Food focus: the Importance of Zinc
Zinc is a trace mineral required for optimal health, because the body doesn’t produce or store it we need to look to our diets to reap the benefits of this often over-looked micronutrient. Only a small amount of Zinc is needed (around 8mg for an adult woman and 11mg for an adult man) and there are plenty of tasty foods to include in your meals to achieve this.
What does Zinc do?
Zinc is important for your immune system, studies have shown that it has been able to speed up the recovery of a cold. It also improved symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and a sore throat. Zinc contributes to the development of cells which defend your body against harmful toxins which means it can give you a boost to your immunity.
The mineral is also helpful for your skin, it’s cell-growth properties mean it can speed up the healing of wounds, burns and some ulcers. Studies have also shown that acne sufferers can use Zinc topically or orally to reduce inflammation and suppress bacteria that causes acne.
How can I get Zinc?
Here are a few foods to add to your plate to get more Zinc:
Pumpkin Seeds – 2.2 mg in 1 ounce
Lean Beef – 5.7mg in 4 ounces
Hemp Seeds – 3mg in 3 tbsp
Crab – 7mg in 3 ounces of cooked meat
Chickpeas – 2.5mg in 1 cup
Black beans – 2 mg in 1 cup
Zinc supplements are also available but always take advice from a medical professional when including a new supplement and be wary of consuming over 25mg of Zinc unless advised by a doctor.