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What Is Zinc And Why Do We Need It?

What Is Zinc And Why Do We Need It?

Zinc is a a popular supplement, and it's the second most abundant trace mineral in our bodies after iron! Continue reading if you want to learn more about zinc!

What Is Zinc?

Zinc is a metal and an essential mineral that we need for a range of bodily functions. It is important for immune function, wound healing, growth and development, protein synthesis, enzymatic reactions, and more! The recommended daily intake for zinc is 9.5mg for men and 7mg women. 

Zinc deficiency can cause symptoms such as diminished smell and taste, poor wound healing, skin problems, hair loss, nail deformities, fatigue and more - it is therefore important that we get adequate amounts of zinc in our diets!

Benefits Of Zinc Supplementation

Zinc plays an important role in immune function and is needed to promote healthy immune cells. One meta analysis found that taking zinc containing lozenges helped reduce the duration of the common cold by 33%! Low zinc levels can lead to a weakened immune response, and zinc supplements have been found to stimulate certain immune cells and reduce oxidative stress - this makes zinc a must have mineral to keep your immune system healthy!

Zinc is commonly used in skincare products and beauty supplements due to its importance in skin health. Studies have shown that zinc supplementation can be an effective treatment for acne, and individuals with acne also tend to have lower levels of zinc, so keeping your zinc levels up can help reduce the risk of developing acne. Zinc is also important in collagen formation, and supplementation may help improve wound healing!

How To Get More Zinc In Your Diet

Zinc is mainly found in animal foods such as meats, poultry and seafood - the best dietary source of zinc is oysters! Some plant foods also contain zinc, these include nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Zinc deficiency is rare, but pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians may be at higher risk. Zinc can also be taken in the form of a supplement if you have higher zinc needs or aren’t getting enough through your diet!

The Bottom Line...

Zinc is an essential mineral that is needed for a range of functions including maintaining immunity and skin health. Deficiency can cause a range of symptoms such as skin, hair and nail problems, poor immune function and more! It can be found in a variety of foods, mainly animal foods as well as some plant foods such as nuts and seeds - you should be able to get adequate amounts from a varied and balanced diet!

What’s your favourite zinc rich food? Let us know in the comments below!
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