Most people think that you get from eating enough iron, calcium, magnesium and the like. A few thoughts about zinc. However, zinc has a positive effect on the immune system and cell growth and its deficiency can cause serious problems.
So, why do we need zinc?
This essential mineral helps to perform the essential functions of the important cells, which include cell division and metabolism. This means that healthy zinc levels are necessary for normal growth of the body and the immune system. Zinc is also associated with the functioning of hormones and emotions, which means – that it contributes to the stability of mood and cognitive balance. Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is related with many diseases.
According to research, the symptoms of lack of zinc can range from those that’s pretty hard to notice – for example, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite or acne – but to more serious, such as disturbed immunity and difficult healing wounds.
In general, zinc deficiency is common in the elderly and pregnant women. Of course, there are zinc in plants, such as legumes and cereals, but it is necessary to eat large quantities of it to give enough. Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is related with many diseases. In children, deficiency causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility.
Especially pregnant women should pay attention to zinc intake, because this mineral plays a significant role in the growth and development of an unborn baby. It is important for another reason: pregnant women usually take folate and iron, and both of these elements interfere with the absorption of zinc. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor and pay attention to diet rich in zinc, or to take appropriate supplements.
How zinc necessary? Adults need between 8 and 11 mg. Pregnant women should consume 11 mg, a breastfeeding women about 12 mg.
Here are the best plant sources of zinc:
- Chia seed
- Pumpkin seed