Zinc is one of the most important minerals your body needs in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Every cell in your body has traces of zinc. Zinc contributes to the manufacturing of vital enzymes within your various body systems and must constantly be replenished.
Zinc Deficiency World-Wide
Ranked as the 5th leading risk factor in causing disease worldwide, underdeveloped nations regularly suffer from high mortality rates because of the connection that zinc deficiency has with childhood diarrhea and pneumonia.
Zinc deficiency is such a serious global problem that 176,000 diarrhea deaths, 406,000 pneumonia deaths and 207,000 malaria deaths are caused by it; primarily in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and South-East Asia.
Everyone, young and old, requires regular zinc intake to remain alive, which is why it is referred to as an “essential” trace element. Even plants and animals need it to survive! Present in every cell, organ, bone, tissue, and fluid in our bodies zinc is especially prominent in the male prostate gland and semen.
22 Most common zinc deficiency symptoms
Nail cuticle inflammation
Dry skin, prone to rashes
Eye irritation or infections
Skin blemishes such as acne, psoriasis and eczema
Toxemia during pregnancy
Weakened Immunity System
Wounds slow to heal
Sexual dysfunction or impotence
Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
Brittle nails, white spots or white bands on fingernails
5 Food That Contain More Zinc
Spinach may not be the food with the most Zinc in it, but it holds its own considering that it’s a plant source. It’s just one of the many vitamins and minerals that spinach is known for, and one more reason to eat it more often. Having a salad with spinach as the base is an easy way to start getting more Zinc into your diet, especially when you top that salad with other Zinc-containing foods.
Kidney beans are a great non-meat source of Zinc, which is good news for vegans and vegetarians looking to get the Zinc requirements met. These beans are also helpful in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels, providing energy and keeping you feeling full for long periods without a subsequent crash. They can be eaten as a side dish by themselves or added to any entree to boost fiber intake and add additional protein.
Chances are, you’re not eating enough pumpkin seeds. If you save this as an annual October treat, it’s time to start getting them into your system throughout the year. They’re not only remarkably high in Zinc, but they provide other benefits to the body like helping you sleep better at night, giving you a dose of omega-3s, and keeping your blood sugar levels looking good. Promising research also suggests that they may be considered an anti-inflammatory food.
Here’s a seed that often gets spit out, and many times doesn’t even show up because the watermelon is seedless. But if you dry watermelon seeds, and even toast them, they can be a wonderful source of Zinc, as well as other good things for the body, like protein, magnesium, healthy fats, and a host of B Vitamins. This makes them a great snack to consider, since most of us are not in the habit of eating them.
Garlic has a long list of health benefits, not the least of which is that it provides a respectable amount of Zinc. Granted, it’s not going to be able to take a big chunk out of your Zinc requirements for the day when used in cooking, but it can contribute and add to the day’s total. Garlic also has cleansing properties, and has long been linked to anti-cancer effects and a healthier heart.