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The Importance of Zinc in Diet

Updated on October 2, 2011

What is Zinc?

Zinc is a mineral nutrient that is important to the proper functioning of the human body. Next to iron, zinc is the most common mineral in our body, and it can be found in every single cell.

Naturopathy, and traditional medicine concludes that the health benefits of zinc are positive and numerous, so we should make sure to get a sufficient amount of zinc in our diet.

The best way to be sure to get enough dietary zinc is to regularly consume foods where it naturally occurs.

When we take zinc supplements, we need to be sure to balance our intake, because too much can lead to zinc toxicity.

However, if we do not receive enough dietary zinc, it can lead to zinc deficiency.

Zinc in Naturopathic Medicine

Zinc has been shown to be effective as a naturopathic treatment for many diseases and ailments that plague the human body, did you know that:

  • According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Zinc has been shown to prevent acne and stabilize the activity of oil glands.
  • A study completed at Bastyr University Center for Natural Health concluded that Zincimproves ADHD symptoms in children.
  • A study at Helsinki University has revealed positive proof that zinc lozenges helps to shorten the duration of the common cold.
  • A multi-university study documented in the American Journal of Pathology concluded thatZinc aids in the prevention and treatment of alcoholic liver injury.

Zinc in Traditional Medicine

Traditional medicine and science has proven that following health benefits of zinc:

  • Required in the process of Protein Synthesis and the Formation of Collagen.
  • Helps to improve our Immune System
  • Accelerates our Bodies Natural Ability to Heal Wounds
  • Powerful Antioxidant Properties
  • Helps our Bodies to Process Vitamin E
  • Helps our Bodies to Absorb Vitamin A
  • Enhances Taste and Smell

All of the naturopathic and traditional medical research serve to prove the exactly how zinc benefits the body, but it is essential for us to know how to increase our intake.


Sources of Zinc in Food

  • Egg Yolks
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Lima Beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Oysters
  • Poultry
  • Sardines
  • Soybeans
  • Whole Grains
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • Legumes
  • Meats
  • Pecans

The list above is not comprehensive, it is limited to common food sources of zinc.

As you can see, many of the foods on the list are not exactly "kid friendly"

Therefore, we need to be sure to sneak in (if we have to) enough of these foods into their diets as possible.

Of course, we can also make sure to give our kids supplements to enhance their intake of nutritional minerals.


Herbal Sources of Zinc

  • Alfalfa
  • Burdock Root
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Dandelion
  • Eyebright
  • Fennel Seed
  • Milk Thistle
  • Nettle
  • Parseley
  • Rose Hips
  • Sage
  • Wild Yam
  • Hops
  • sarsaparilla
  • skullcap


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    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Well researched and nicely set out. Thanks for all the great info.

    • h.a.chauhdary profile image

      h.a.chauhdary 6 years ago from Australia

      Good info!