Eating a diet rich in zinc foods is a necessary part of maintaining your dietary health. Zinc contributes to many aspects of your general health. It contributes to quality of eyesight, taste, smell, hair and skin. It is also linked to the production of testosterone in men and the lessening of PMS symptoms in women. It even boosts the health of pre-natal babies as a necessary component of healthy birth weight.
But, perhaps the most widely known benefits of proper zinc intake is a fortified immune system. Zinc aids in the building of 100 different enzymes, and helps protect the body against sickness and decay. Here are 4 natural food sources that add zinc to your diet.
If you are a meat-eater, you are probably already getting a reasonable amount of zinc in your diet. The meats that transfer the highest concentration of zinc include beef, beef, lamb, pork and salmon. Chicken and turkey are also good sources, particularly the dark meat. Remember to consider portion control when eating meats that also have high levels of cholesterol and fat.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, cashews and sunflower seeds are viable vegetarian options for keeping your zinc levels at a healthy high. Even more so, pumpkin seeds have one of the highest concentrations of zinc available in a non-meat food. All these foods have less fat and cholesterol than many meats. You may need to eat more to abtain equal benefits of animal-based zinc. You may also want to consider taking zinc supplements if your diet is primarily vegetarian.
Fortified ready-to-eat cereals are an excellent source of zinc. Bran, multi-grain and whole grain cereals especially offer high doses of zinc. Although cereals are a good source, they contain also often phytates, which binds with the zinc in cereals and inhibit absorption. Keep this in mind and don't count on your breakfast cereal being your only source of daily zinc. Also, don't choose cereals with sugar levels high enough to negate the health benefits of eating zinc.
Shellfish such as crab, lobster, clams and mussels are some of the most powerful natural sources of zinc a person can eat. Six oysters can provide as much as 76 milligrams of zinc at once, nearly seven times the recommended daily allowance. For many, shellfish is not always the easiest food to consume regularly. This might be a good thing. Too much zinc can result in impaired immunity and difficulties with the metabolizing other necessary minerals. Still, an occasional indulgence is a perfectly safe way to boost your zinc intake.
When you hear it said that your body needs vitamins and minerals, one of the most vital minerals is zinc. Zinc is easy to consume in red meats and poultry, but a little more difficult to come by in a vegetarian diet. Whatever source you get you zinc from, make sure you consume enough to keep your body functioning and your immune system strong.