The health benefits of Zinc
Zinc is an important nutrient which is essential for human health. Over 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in this which leads to problems in the body. Zinc is found naturally in meat, fish and seeds and is used by the body for hundreds of important functions.
In this article, we highlight all of the health benefits of zinc, explain how it works in the body and how you can get more of this into your diet.
1. Immune Health: Zinc plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system and is used to make white blood cells. It is important to prevent infections from viruses, fungus and harmful bacteria and raises the body’s natural defences. Zinc also helps to activate T-cells which attack infected and cancerous cells in the body.
2. Wound Healing is the health benefits of Zinc: This mineral Zinc is involved with every stage of the healing process in the body, especially from cuts and wounds. It helps the body to make new proteins such as collagen, and in repairing skin tissues and cells.
3. Viral Infections: Studies show that taking a daily supplement of zinc can help to treat viral infections and the common cold. Zinc cuts down the length of time of infection by around 40 per cent. It does this by reducing inflammation in the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, sinus and lungs.
4. Anti-Ageing: Zinc is a powerful antioxidant which helps to reduce the effects of ageing. It does this by fighting free radicals and can help to stop the loss of collagen with age. It also helps to prevent macular degeneration of the eyes. Getting lots of trace minerals like zinc and selenium in the diet can help to keep the body strong as we get older.
5. Testosterone: In men, zinc is very important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. It helps to prevent the testicles from shrinking with age, and also helps to produce healthy sperm. Most importantly, zinc helps to prevent prostate enlargement. It does this by blocking testosterone from being converted to DHT.
6. Mental Health: People who suffer from depression and low mood are often deficient in Zinc. This mineral helps to make neurotransmitters in the brain which make you feel good such as dopamine. Zinc is used in hundreds of different enzyme processes which helps the synapses in the brain to communicate.
7. Muscle Growth health benefits of Zinc: The body uses more Zinc when building muscle because it is involved with synthesizing muscle proteins. This means that it is important to get lots of Zinc into the diet from healthy foods when exercising, especially weight training. This will help muscles to repair and grow faster.
8. Skin Health: Many medical skin creams contain added zinc to help clear up different skin conditions. The mineral plays a key role in preventing skin problems like acne, dermatitis, rosacea, sunburn, dry skin, bedsores and hyperpigmentation. It works best when consumed by healthy food sources.
9. Heals Ulcers Zinc also helps to heal the internal skin inside the body and can help to clear up stomach ulcers, problems in the colon and mouth ulcers. It helps the healing process and binds to DNA for growing new cells. It is also important to consume zinc every day as the body does not store it very well.
10. Helps Diabetics Those who suffer from diabetes are often deficient in Zinc. It is important to consume more zinc if you have this, as the mineral helps the pancreas organ to make insulin and release it into the body. This plays a role in keeping blood sugars under control, which has the secondary benefit of aiding weight loss. As you can see, zinc is a key mineral for human health and supports the activity of over 300 different enzyme functions. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in zinc as they consume too many refined foods like sugar, rice, bread and flour which blocks the absorption of zinc.
The best food sources of zinc are oysters, seaweed, crab meat, liver, grass-fed beef and soaked pumpkin seeds. These foods contain 100% bioavailable zinc which is easily absorbed by the digestive system. Adult men need at least 11mg per day, and women need at least 8mg. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers may need at least 12mg. If you are looking to take a supplement, be sure to choose a product which contains ‘Zinc Biglycinate Chelate’. This is the best variety and is easily absorbed. We recommend purchasing a product which contains a blend of trace minerals as these all work together in the body for different enzyme functions. If you have often had acid reflux, bloating or GERD, you can take apple cider vinegar capsules to help repair your stomach acids. It is important to have a strong stomach in order to digest and absorb minerals.