Zinc is a mineral needed in almost everything that goes on inside our bodies from energy levels, immunity, to healing and is also extremely important for our skin, sexual organs and reproductive system. It is required in the healing of injuries, and is necessary for growth and development, hair growth, insulin production, smell, taste, and fertility. Zinc is also extremely important during pregnancy to ensure proper growth and development of the fetus.
As you can see the importance of this mineral cannot be overstated, and the benefits of zinc supplements are equally important for those who may be lacking in this mineral.
Zinc can be found naturally in:
- Poppy seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pine nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Organic spinach
- Seaweeds (Irish moss, kelp, nori)
Although the Zinc from foods is much easier absorbed by our bodies you can also take a supplement. For an all natural energy boost try taking 30 mgs of zinc daily at bed time, increase it to 75 when you are bouncing back from a cold or the flu or if you’ve recently had surgery.
The downside of taking these high zinc foods is that no matter how much of them you take in, only a mere 15%-40% of the zinc actually gets absorbed by your body overall. This is especially true for non-meat zinc food sources. Dietary fibers and phytic acid in bran prevents the absorption of zinc in your body. Phytic acid forms a complex with the zinc that you take in, and this compound is insoluble so that it cannot be absorbed readily by your body. Whole grains are a better source of zinc than refined grains as they have the ability to produce enzymes that can destroy phytic acid. On the other hand, the zinc you get from eating meat is four times more bio-available than in grain foods.
It has been found that increasing intake of vitamins such as Vitamin C, E and B6 and minerals such as magnesium can increase zinc absorption in the body. So, it will be a good idea to add these to your daily vitamin and mineral intake.
Zinc supplement over long term usage can interfere with the absorption and utilization of other nutrients, such as iron and copper. Excess zinc supplement misuse can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Zinc supplement misuse can also cause a lowering of the level of HDL or good cholesterol. It can also lead to poor immune system function.
This information is intended for educational purposed only and is not intended to treat or diagnose diseases. For more information contact your health practitioner.