Zinc is also called the intelligence mineral.
It is required for mental development, for healthy reproductive organs (particularly the prostate gland), for protein synthesis, and for collagen formation.
It is interesting to note that zinc is also involved in the mechanism of blood sugar control and it can thus protect against diabetes.
Zinc is needed to maintain proper levels of vitamin E in the blood.
Inability to taste or smell and loss of appetite are signs of zinc deficiency, as are growth retardation and impaired immune function. Zinc deficiency during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
As you can see on the table below, the best sources of zinc include red meat, whole grains like wheat and rye, legumes, seeds, nuts and cheese.
High levels of phytic acid in cereal grains and legumes may block zinc absorption if they are not properly prepared. This is why it is important to soak and/or ferment whole grains before eating them.
So, how much zinc do you need?
Here are the official recommendations:
An adult woman needs 8mg of zinc per day when she’s neither pregnant nor breastfeeding.
Eating quality, grass-fed beef is a good way to get our daily dose of zinc. Eating properly prepared whole grains, legumes, cheese and seeds or nuts can also be a good way to get enough zinc on a daily basis.
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