Zinc – Are You Getting Enough?
Zinc Essential For Health
You may currently take zinc when you have a cold or flu. However, did you know that your cells need it on a daily basis? The adult body contains approximately 2.0 to 3.0 g, mostly stored inside your cells.
Are Your Levels Low?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, your zinc levels may be low:
• Recurrent colds, flu and/or infections;
• Poor appetite reduced the sense of taste and/or smell;
• Sluggish digestion;
• Slow growth and development;
• Slow healing, acne and other skin conditions;
• Sugar cravings; and/or
• Stress, anxiety, and depression.
The Low-Down on Deficiency
Many people are deficient in zinc. Inadequate dietary intake, increased physiological needs, or a diet high in sugar or alcohol and profuse sweating are common causes of zinc deficiency.
A Simple Taste Test
Your Naturopath can do a simple taste test to determine if you have a zinc deficiency. The test involves holding a solution in your mouth for 10 seconds and assessing your taste response. The test relies on the presence of gustin, a zinc-dependent enzyme. A lack of zinc reduces the activity of gustin, thus altering your taste perception.
Nourishing Your Body
Zinc protects your cells from free radical damage, providing antioxidant defence. Other actions include supporting healthy immunity and improving appetite and digestive function. Its ability to increase the healing rate of acne and wounds makes it indispensable for skin health. Also playing a key role in blood sugar metabolism, for greater blood sugar control.
It also aids growth and development, and is an important nutrient during pregnancy for both mother and baby; also important for male health, fertility and sperm production, increasing sperm motility and concentration, therefore enhancing the chances of conception.
Found in high concentrations in the hippocampus area of the brain which controls thought and memory. Recent research has shown zinc to be good for the brain, reducing stress and having a positive impact on mental function and mood.
You Don’t Just Have to Eat Oysters!
You can top up your levels by increasing zinc rich foods:
- Oysters are a rich source, but if you are not a fan; beef, pork, chicken.
- Non-animal sources include nuts, whole grains, legumes, yeast and ginger.
Better Greater Absorption
If you feel you may be lacking, talk to your Practitioner about taking the highly absorbable form. Zinc is less likely to interact with other minerals, including copper, calcium and iron. The more your body can absorb, the greater the benefits it will deliver in improving your health.
Contact me today if you want to discuss your nutrition and if you could benefit from changing your diet.