The role of zinc in human life is clear, it is necessary for general health. However, it should be remembered that this element is necessary in very small doses, and exceeding a sufficient amount can lead to poisoning.
At the same time, its deficiency can cause significant harm, so it is very important to control your zinc intake.
The daily zinc intake for men is over 11mg. Women normally require 8 mg of zinc per day, compared to 12 mg during pregnancy.
The functions of zinc in the body are as follows:
- stimulates the production of insulin, improves the functioning of the pancreas,
- Strengthens the nervous system,
- improves the condition of hair and skin due to more active absorption of B vitamins,
- Promotes oxygen circulation, normalizes metabolism,
- It makes it possible for the embryos to develop normally during pregnancy,
- Has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system,
- Normalizes sexual function, improves sperm quality,
- Strengthens the protective functions of the immune system.
- Zinc deficiency in the body cannot be ignored, it is important to monitor yourself and respond to the first signs in a timely manner. The main symptoms of deficiency are weakened sense of smell, diarrhea, blurred vision at night, delayed healing of wounds and fragility and hair loss. The effect of zinc on the body is strong, so its level must be constantly monitored.
People at risk should pay special attention to the level of zinc in the body. The elderly, pregnant women, people with alcohol dependence, vegetarians, people with digestive system problems are at high risk.
10 FOODS HIGH IN ZINC
Compliance with a balanced diet allows you to fully meet the needs of absolutely every person. Here are 10 foods high in zinc.
Red meats such as beef are considered an ideal source of zinc. But beef isn’t the only source of zinc. Zinc is also found in lamb meat. According to studies, a 100-gram serving of beef contains 4.8 grams of zinc, which is equivalent to 44 percent of your daily intake. Red meat provides the body with 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, 176 calories, B vitamins, creatine and iron, among other things. However, it is important to remember that eating large amounts of red meat is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, as well as certain types of cancer. At the same time, the combination of meat with vegetables and fruits allows you to avoid such negative consequences.
Seafood is another food rich in zinc. Nutritionists note that the largest amount of this substance is found in oysters (32 milligrams in 6 medium servings). This equates to 291 percent of the daily intake. Other types of seafood contain slightly lower amounts of zinc but are still considered equally healthy. It is important to make sure that seafood is well cooked before consuming it. This will minimize the risk of food poisoning.
Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans are also considered good sources of zinc. 100 grams of lentils provide 12 percent of the daily required amount of zinc. However, it is important to consider that legumes also contain substances called phytates. They disrupt the absorption process of almost all minerals. Therefore, zinc is absorbed from them significantly worse than from animal products. Despite this, legumes are the only source of minerals for vegetarians. They can also provide the body with protein, fiber, and other health-promoting nutrients. Experts strongly recommend that legumes be soaked before consumption. This will increase the bioavailability of the substances in their composition.
One of the healthiest foods is oilseeds. These zinc-rich foods can significantly improve your health. However, it should be noted that some types of seeds are much more beneficial than others. Pumpkin seeds are very rich in zinc content. They can also provide the body with fiber, healthy fats and vitamins. Including them in the diet has a number of positive effects, including lowering cholesterol levels and normalizing blood pressure.
Regular use of walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds and pine nuts in your diet can significantly increase your zinc intake. 28 grams of cashew contains about 15 percent of the daily intake. In addition, nuts are considered a very suitable product that can be consumed anytime, anywhere. Recent research has shown that all types of nuts are considered very healthy. It reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, and also extends lifespan.
When considering which foods contain zinc, it is necessary to mention dairy products such as milk and cheese. Nutritionists note that dairy products contain a large number of biologically valuable minerals. This means that by adding cheese or milk to the diet, a person can saturate the body with this mineral as efficiently as possible. A glass of milk provides 9 percent of the daily required amount of zinc. In addition, it can provide the body with a number of other beneficial substances, such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D, which are essential for improving bone and muscle function.
Eggs containing the mineral in moderation can also help meet the daily zinc requirement. In addition, eggs have a number of other beneficial properties, thanks to their high amount of nutrients. One chicken egg contains 5 percent daily zinc, 6 grams of protein, about 5 grams of healthy fat, selenium and B vitamins. In addition to all of that, eggs are considered the best source of choline, a substance that many people don’t get enough of.
Quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice and other whole grains are rich in zinc. Like legumes, they contain phytates that impair mineral absorption. However, experts state that refined grains contain less of these substances. According to nutritionists, whole grains are a great source of nutrients. They can provide the body with fiber, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, as well as selenium and manganese. Also, statistics show that people who regularly use whole grains in their diet live significantly longer. It also lowers the risks of diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Fruits and vegetables are not considered very good sources of zinc. But some types can have a positive effect on the body and provide some zinc. The most beneficial of these are considered potatoes, which contain 1 milligram of the mineral, which corresponds to 9 percent of the daily intake. Other vegetables and fruits do not contain more than 3 percent of the daily requirement of zinc. However, adding vegetables and fruits to the diet is very beneficial as it reduces the risk of chronic and dangerous diseases.
A 100 grams of dark chocolate contains about 3.3 grams of zinc. But its calories are about 600. Despite its benefits in this regard, it should be included in the diet very carefully. It should not be forgotten that chocolate is not a food that can be used as a main meal.