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6 Surprising Health Benefits of Zinc



Do you know that your body does not produce zinc naturally? You must obtain it either through food or supplements. Zinc is an important mineral that the body uses in numerous ways, hence you must get a constant supply through your diet.

Zinc is the second-most-abundant trace mineral in the body after iron and is present in every cell. Zinc is necessary for the activity of numerous enzymes that helps in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes, it is also needed for the senses of taste and smell. Because one of the enzymes necessary for proper taste and smell is dependent on this nutrient, a zinc deficiency can reduce your ability to taste or smell.

Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including

  • Gene expression
  • Enzymatic reactions
  • Immune function
  • Protein synthesis
  • DNA synthesis
  • Wound healing
  • Growth and development

Examples of foods highest in zinc include:

  1. Shellfish: Oysters, crab, mussels, lobster and clams
  2. Meat: Beef, pork, lamb and bison
  3. Poultry: Turkey and chicken
  4. Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.
  5. Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.
  6. Fish: Flounder, sardines, salmon and sole
  7. Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.
  8. Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese, Eggs
  9. Certain vegetables: Mushrooms, kale, peas, asparagus and beet greens
  10. Animal products, such as meat and shellfish, contain high amounts of zinc in a form that your body easily absorbs.

The followings are some of the health benefits of zinc

1. It promotes wound healing

Zinc as an important mineral plays critical roles in collagen synthesis, immune function and inflammatory response that are involved in wound healing. Zinc is necessary for proper healing. Zinc is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for burns, certain ulcers and other skin injuries. The skin holds a relatively high amount about 5% of your body’s zinc content. While a zinc deficiency can slow wound healing, supplementing with zinc can speed recovery in people with wounds.

2. It is used for treatment of acne

Acne is a major skin disease that affects a large population of people. Acne is caused by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria and inflammation. Research has shown that both topical and oral zinc treatments can effectively treat acne by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria and suppressing oily gland activity. People with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc. Therefore, including zinc contained diets may help reduce symptoms.

3. It helps to reduce the risk of certain age-related diseases

Zinc has been proven to reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Zinc has an antioxidant properties which reduces oxidative stress and improve immune response by boosting the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, which help protect your body from infection.
Also, in a research carried out, people taking daily antioxidant supplements  vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene plus zinc decreased vision loss and significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD.

4. It boosts the immune system

Zinc helps keep your immune system strong. Because it is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling, a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response. Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress.

Zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote immune response in older adults.

5. It decreases Inflammation

Zinc has been shown to decrease oxidative stress and reduces levels of certain inflammatory proteins in your body. Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and mental decline.

6. It helps to reduce diarrhea

Zinc can reduce diarrhea. It has been shown to reduce and shorten episodes of diarrhea. This is due to its ability to boost immune system.

Include foods that are ready to eat as breakfasts cereals, oatmeal, snack bars and baking flours because they are fortified with zinc .

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