Zinc (Zn)

Zinc (Zn)

Zinc is an important mineral for the body and a zinc deficiency could cause many health issues like digestive problems, hair loss, autoimmune disease, leaky gut, hormonal imbalance, attention and motor disorders, allergies, nutrient malabsorption, acne and more. Zinc helps enhance our overall immune defenses, which in turn provides protection from disease and illness and shortens healing and recovery time.

Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of overall cellular metabolism. It is required for:

  • Catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes
  • Protein & DNA synthesis
  • Cell division
  • Normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence
  • Proper sense of taste and smell

According to the National Institutes of Health, a daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.

Note: If you take vitamin A with Zinc it maximizes the absorption of vitamin A

Foods High In Zinc

  • Pumpkin Seeds: 1 cup: 6.6 milligrams
  • Flax Seeds: 100 grams: 5 milligrams
  • Watermelon Seeds: 100 grams: 10 milligrams
  • Cashews: 1 ounce: 1.6 milligrams
  • Peanuts: 100 grams: 3.27 milligrams
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): 1 cup: 2.5 milligrams
  • Lima Beans: 100 grams: 2.83 milligrams
  • Cocoa Powder: 1 ounce: 1.9 milligrams
  • Kefir or Yogurt: 1 cup: 1.4 milligrams
  • Mushrooms: 1 cup: 1.4 milligrams
  • Spinach: 1 cup: 1.4 milligrams
  • Garlic: 100 grams: 1.16 milligrams


Dangers of Low Zinc

Animal foods are better sources of zinc than plant foods, like vegetables, because zinc bioavailability (the fraction of zinc that’s retained and used by the body) is high in zinc foods like meat, eggs and seafood. This is due to the absence of compounds that inhibit zinc absorption in animal foods and the presence of sulfur-containing amino acids that improve zinc absorption, like cysteine and methionine. (19)

Although there are plant-based zinc foods, they’re less bioavailable because of their high content of phytic acid (or phytates), which inhibits zinc absorption. Reports suggest that people who don’t eat meat or animal products, like people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, need up to 50 percent more zinc in their diets to absorb what the body needs. However, the inhibitory effects of phytic acid on the absorption of zinc can be minimized with methods like soaking, heating, sprouting, fermenting and leavening. Research shows that the absorption of zinc can be improved by using yeast-based breads and sourdough breads, sprouts, and presoaked legumes. (20)



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Works Cited:


Buse, Mark BSc., Ct., CWR, Synergistic Vitamins & Supplements

Axe, Josh DNM, DC, CNS., Top 10 foods high in zinc.