Did you know Brazil nuts have higher concentrations of magnesium, copper, and zinc than most other nuts, although the exact amounts of these nutrients can vary depending on climate and soil, as previously noted. Here Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on everything you need to know about zinc:
“Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in your body.
Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements.
This article explains everything you need to know about zinc, including its functions, health benefits, dosage recommendations and potential side effects.
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it.
For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet.
Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including (1):
- Gene expression
- Enzymatic reactions
- Immune function
- Protein synthesis
- DNA synthesis
- Wound healing
- Growth and development
Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods.
You can also take zinc supplements or multi-nutrient supplements that provide zinc.
Because of its role in immune function, zinc is likewise added to some nasal sprays, lozenges and other natural cold treatments.
Role in Your Body
Zinc is a vital mineral that your body uses in countless ways.
Zinc is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes (3Trusted Source).
In addition, it’s critical for the development and function of immune cells (4Trusted Source).
What’s more, body growth and development relies on zinc because of its role in cell growth and division (6Trusted Source).
Zinc is also needed for your senses of taste and smell. Because one of the enzymes crucial for proper taste and smell is dependent on this nutrient, a zinc deficiency can reduce your ability to taste or smell (7Trusted Source).
Many animal and plant foods are naturally rich in zinc, making it easy for most people to consume adequate amounts.
Foods highest in zinc include (32):
- Shellfish: Oysters, crab, mussels, lobster and clams
- Meat: Beef, pork, lamb and bison
- Poultry: Turkey and chicken
- Fish: Flounder, sardines, salmon and sole
- Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.
- Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese
- Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
- Certain vegetables: Mushrooms, kale, peas, asparagus and beet greens
Animal products, such as meat and shellfish, contain high amounts of zinc in a form that your body easily absorbs.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/zinc#sources
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