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Zinc: Health Benefits, Food Sources and Daily Requirements

Do you know that a healthy diet can save you from numerous diseases naturally? Zinc is one of the most essential nutrients required in the healthy human body. Consumption of the recommended amount of Zinc can reduce Cold symptoms, improve your immune system, minimize the risk of many diseases, and faster wound healing. On the other hand, Zinc deficiency can increase the risk of infection, diarrhea, respiratory problems, and several other diseases. Especially, Zinc deficit in children can impede growth. Read this article to know Zinc health Benefits, food sources, and daily requirements.

Benefits of Zinc to Human Body:

Treats Common Colds

According to the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, Zinc intake can shorten the duration of common colds by up to 40 percent. Another study shows that zinc can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold in healthy people if taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. Therefore, to prevent the symptoms of COVID19 and pneumonia, you can consume Zinc according to the recommendation of your physician.

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Improves Immunity:

The European Journal of Immunology says that adding Zinc to a regular diet can help the process of activating T lymphocytes (T cells) in the human body. T cells are essential to control and regulate immune responses against antigens, viruses, infected or cancerous cells. Conversely, Zinc deficiency can impair the function of your immune system increasing susceptibility to diverse pathogens.

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Promotes Learning and Memory

Research conducted by the University of Toronto has found that zinc plays a crucial role in regulating the communication network of neurons cells in the human brain. In simple words, Zinc can impact upon the process of learning and memory formation.

Quickens Wound Healing

Zinc has a critical role in preserving the integrity and structure of the skin. A Swedish study has discovered that Zinc helps in the treatment of leg ulcers. Another Research reveals that Zinc can fasten the healing process of wounds by reducing inflammation and activating immune cells in the area of injury. That is why Zinc is widely used in diverse skin creams for treating skin irritations and diaper rash.

Prevents Diverse Diseases

Zinc can reduce the risk of age-related chronic diseases. A study conducted by Oregon State University has found that zinc intake may decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases. Zinc may prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and prevents vision loss, according to the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Journal of Biological Chemistry boasts that zinc may assist in regulating the heartbeat which can minimize the risk of arrhythmia-related heart failure. Furthermore, Zinc may treat acne, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, and pneumonia.

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Prevents Male Infertility

Zinc deficiency is a potential risk factor for the low quality of sperm and male infertility. Research has proved that zinc sulfate and folic acid supplementation can improve the sperm count of healthy adult males.

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How Much Zinc Do You need?

The recommended intake for Zinc ranges from 3-5 milligrams for 1-8 years old children. Males under the age-group of 9 to 13 years old require 8 milligrams of zinc per day. The requirement rises to 11 milligrams per day after the age of 14. The adult males (19 years and above) also require not more than 11 milligrams Zinc per day.

The daily Zinc requirement for females under the age group of 8 to 13 years is 8 milligrams per day. For ages 14 to 18, the recommended value increases to 9 milligrams per day. However, for adult women (19 years and above) the requirement falls back to 8 milligrams per day. Depending on age, the pregnant women and lactating mothers have an increased requirement for zinc which ranges 11 to 13 milligrams per day.

Rich Food Sources of Zinc

Crab and Lobster

Crab and lobster are both excellent sources of zinc. 3 ounces (oz) of cooked crab can supply 59 percent (6.5 mg) of the recommended daily value (DV) of Zinc, while a small steamed lobster may contain about 43 percent (4.7 mg) of the DV.

Meat and Poultry

Eating Beef, chicken, and egg can deliver zinc to your body. According to the USDA, 1 cup of roasted chicken breast can provide 19 percent (2.13 mg) of the recommended daily value of Zinc, while 1 egg conveys about 5 percent (0.6 mg) of DV.

Vegetables

Nutritious vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, kale, garlic, and spinach are great sources of zinc. According to the USDA, one cup of sliced raw mushrooms provides about 3 percent (0.4 mg) of the DV of zinc, while 1 cooked cup of Kale roughly contains the same amount (0.3 mg).

Beans and legumes also contain Zinc. In ¼ cup of hummus can support your body with 8 percent (0.89 mg) of the daily recommended value of zinc, while 1 cup of lentils has about 11 percent (2.27 mg) of DV.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are natural sources of zinc. 1 oz of pumpkin seeds or pine nuts can provide 20 percent (2.17 mg) or 16 percent (1.8 mg) of the daily recommended value of Zinc, respectively. 1 oz of dry-roasted cashews contains 15 percent (1.6 mg) of the DV. Moreover, 1 oz of Chia seeds can offer you 12 percent (1.3 mg) of the DV.

Whole Grains

Besides fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the whole grains are enriched in Zinc. 1 cup of raw oats can deliver about 27 percent (2.95 mg), while 1 cup of cooked brown rice has 13 percent (1.38 mg), and a slice of whole-wheat bread boasts 5 percent (0.6 mg) of the recommended daily value of Zinc.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a delicious source of zinc. In fact, depending upon cacao varieties, darker chocolate offers Zinc in greater values. 1 oz. of dark chocolate can supply nearly 7 to 8 percent (0.75 to 0.9 mg) of the recommended daily value of Zinc. If you are a chocolate lover, this is a bonus for you!

Fortified Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals carry diverse minerals, including Zinc. Generally, 1 cup serving can provide about 25 percent (2.8 mg) of the recommended daily value of zinc. However, do not forget to check the nutrition label of your favorite cereals to see just how much you are getting from it.

Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and yogurt are nutritious sources of Zinc. 1 cup of nonfat or low-fat milk contains 9 percent (1.02 mg) of the recommended daily value of zinc, while 1 cup of nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt provides 22 percent (2.38 mg) or 20 percent (2.2 mg) of DV, respectively.

  • Food Sources
  • Zinc
  • Health Benefits

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