Zinc is a vital element of any healthy lifestyle. While you may not hear of it often, it is actually the second most abundant mineral in the human body, making it absolutely crucial to your wellbeing and health. In this blog, I am going to assess the importance of zinc, and I will explain why so many people suffer from zinc deficiencies. This can have devastating effects on your overall health, but with this blog, you can get started on ensuring you get enough zinc to lead a healthy lifestyle.
How important is Zinc
Zinc, along with magnesium, is one of those catch-all minerals that is needed for a lot of important functions. Interestingly, zinc is not stored in your body for long periods of time, which means you need a constant source of zinc to keep your body healthy. While we don’t need enormous amounts of it, we need to ensure that we stay on top of our zinc absorption, as it plays a crucial role in skin health, hair growth, food metabolism, hormones, and affects important immune processes. Additionally, it is also an important contributor to good mental health. So, if you’ve been feeling down, tired, and feel like you’re not looking your best, it could be down to a zinc deficiency.
More problems that can be attributed to a zinc deficiency
But that’s not all. There are so many issues that can arise from a zinc deficiency. The scary thing is that most people don’t even know exactly what causes these problems, which can make improving your lifestyle even harder.
Widespread problems related to zinc deficiencies include:
- Upset stomach or indigestion
- Constant sickness and a weak immune system
- Muscle soreness and long recovery times from exercise
- Injury prone and sudden weight gain
- Poor eyesight and night-vision
- Attention problems and mood swings
- Sleep problems and a loss of appetite
What can you do to increase your zinc intake?
One of the easiest and most direct ways to influence the amount of zinc you absorb is by making careful changes to your diet and watching the types of food you eat. Because you only absorb between 15 and 35 % of the total zinc that you take in, you definitely need to pay attention to your diet more than you’re probably used to. However, it could be as simple as introducing a few foods that are high in zinc. Below are the top 5 highest natural sources of zinc:
- Veal Liver
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark Chocolate
Eating these foods will certainly help. Oysters are by far the best food to eat if you want to increase your zinc intake, as they contain more than 10x more zinc than Beef, which is the next highest natural source of zinc found in foods. Shellfish in general are great for zinc, with crab and lobster also ranking high on zinc levels.
Another way that you can increase your zinc absorption is by taking supplements. However, make sure to consult your doctor before this, as they can help you identify dietary or nutritional steps that you can take before resorting to supplements. While it is of course possible for your body to struggle with absorbing certain minerals (like with iron deficiencies), this issue can normally be solved by making several key dietary changes.
Hopefully this blog has helped you understand just how important zinc is and how it could actually be the root cause of many common ailments. However, I hope that this has helped to identify some strategies you could use to fix this problem before it seriously threatens your health.