Zinc is an essential mineral found in trace amounts all over the body. The body requires a sufficient amount of zinc in order to produce, repair and aid in the function of DNA. Zinc also promotes a healthy immune system, helps in the healing of wounds, helps fight colds and maintains the senses of taste and smell.
Zinc deficiencies compromise the immune system. Risk factors associated with zinc deficiencies include alcoholism, inadequate diet and digestive conditions and diseases. Symptoms of being zinc deficient may include weight loss, a delay in healing wounds, mental lethargy, loss of appetite, hair loss, diarrhea, impotence and growth retardation in babies and children. Zinc toxicity is possible at a 150-450mgrate of daily consumption and has been associated with such symptoms as reduced immune systems and dangerously low cholesterol.
Zinc supports the rapid cell, fetal and developmental growth that occurs during pregnancy. It continues to support the body as it grows throughout childhood and adolescence. Additionally it assists in the development and production of healthy sperm and is an integral part of facilitating ovulation and fertilization. Zinc deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to stunted fetal growth, possible miscarriage, low birth weights, toxemia of the blood and complications during pregnancy, labour and delivery. Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should be consuming 15mg of zinc per day.
- Meats (especially lamb, crab, ground beef, pork, turkey and chicken)
- Beans, Seeds & Legumes (especially chickpeas, baked beans and pumpkin seeds and certain types of trail mixes)
- Vegetables (especially mushrooms and spinach)
- Milk products & yogurts