Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is required in minimal amounts for various bodily processes. It functions as a coenzyme for more than 300 enzymes. It plays a vital role in cell metabolism, protein synthesis, triggers the immune system, stimulates the sense of smell and taste, wound healing and in the repair of tissues. Zinc plays a crucial role in growth and development during childhood, adolescent stage and pregnancy. The body does not store zinc hence it is vital to get adequate amounts from the diet to meet the demands.
Zinc deficiency is common among kids, adolescents, older people and women who are pregnant and lactating. The deficiency of this vital trace mineral is indicated by growth retardation, poor appetite and compromised immune system. Severe zinc deficiency may result in hair loss, impotency, diarrhea, weight loss, taste abnormalities, lethargy and eye and skin lesions. Also Read: Top 5 Essential Oils To Revamp Your Skin Health
Zinc is a vital trace mineral essential for strengthening the immune response. It contains powerful antioxidants that support building a robust immune system. Zinc holds a significant role in immune cell development and communication that triggers an inflammatory response and immune function. While it safeguards the tissue barriers in the body and helps avert foreign pathogens from invading the cells. Aside from these, zinc is required for tissue repair and wound healing.
The deficiency of zinc significantly affects the immune system’s ability to work well, resulting in an increased risk of infection and disease including pneumonia. Studies reveal that more than 16% of respiratory infections worldwide have been found due to zinc deficiency. Adding zinc-rich foods or taking supplements has found to protect against respiratory tract infections like the common cold, flu and keep you healthy. Zinc is commonly added to supplements and lozenges to boost immunity.
The recommended dietary allowance of zinc for normal adults both in men and women is 10-12 mg/day. It is vital to get an adequate amount of zinc from a spectrum of natural food sources to lower the risk of deficiency disorders. Some of the richest dietary sources of zinc include beans, legumes, nuts, dairy, potato, dark chocolate, eggs and animal products. Check the infographic for more details.
Ways To Add Zinc Rich Foods To Your Diet
Yogurt smoothie topped with a liberal serving of nuts
Chickpeas salad or curry
Watermelon seeds and nuts ladoo
Mixed berries chat
Dark chocolate drink
Sautéed sweet potato fries