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Zinc Nutrition: An essential mineral for the central nervous system

Updated on June 10, 2015

Foods that are rich in Zinc

Zinc: An Extremely Important Mineral for Good Health

Zinc nutrition plays a very important role in our daily lives, and is an essential mineral that helps our body absorb oxygen efficiently, it keeps our brain functioning properly as well as many other things such as male sexual health. Zinc contains and enzyme called carbonic anhydrase which exists in red blood cells. The enzyme carbonic anhydrase assists red blood cells by picking up carbon dioxide and releasing it in the lungs during the process of exhaling. This process is vital in that it helps to maintain a balanced environment that promotes normal functioning of the muscles. Muscles that achieve this balance are able to contract efficiently and have the ability to produce energy normally.

Zinc has been identified as one of the most important minerals to the human body, along with calcium and iron. It is an essential mineral to the central nervous system and is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body. Men should be sure that they are getting sufficient quantities of zinc due to the fact that zinc levels are depleted after sexual intercourse. This is due to the fact that there is a high concentration of zinc that exists in the sperm. Zinc deficiency can cause everything from diabetes to random acne breakouts. Our bodies need zinc to make insulin, eliminate toxins, and zinc is also very important when it comes to maintaing a healthy immune system. Furthermore, zinc plays a very important role when it comes to normal brain function and development. Our brain and our metabolism needs zinc to function properly, so it is very important that you make sure you get enough of this essential mineral. In fact, there are more than a hundred enzymes in our body that require zinc, and if zinc is not present in the body, activity will be hindered. Zinc plays a significant role when it comes to transcribing DNA, absorbing oxygen and supports virtually any biological function you can imagine.

Recommended Daily Requirements for the consumption of Zinc

  • Typically, if you are between 15 -18 years old It is recommended that you get at least 2 mg of zinc per day.
  • Pregnant women should try to get at least 2.27mg of zinc per day, and no more than 3 mg per day.
  • Zinc can also be toxic, symptoms of excessive zinc intake are vomiting, nausea, epigastric pain. For this reason, Its recommended that you get your zinc from natural foods rather than supplementing.
  • Repeatedly overdosing on zinc in the range of 100-300 mg per day for adults can cause copper deficiencies.
  • Approximately 200-400 mg of zinc will cause any adult to immediately vomit. It would be really hard to come close to this dosage of zinc if you are eating real food. However, supplementing with zinc makes it much easier to exceed the recommended dosage for zinc.
  • Study's show that females consuming approximately 100 mg of zinc per day helped to decrease lipo-protein cholesterol levels after four weeks. However, after 8 weeks the cholesterol levels returned to normal, which may indicate that this effect is only temporary.


Foods That Are Rich in Zinc

There are plenty of foods out there that are rich in zinc. The list below will elaborate what foods are great sources of zinc. The foods on the top of the list are foods that have rich amounts of zinc, and toward the bottom of the list are foods that are less concentrated, nevertheless, all of the foods listed are great sources of zinc.

You will notice that it is not hard to get sufficient quantities of zinc, as it is prevalent in many different types of foods.  The biggest concern for zinc deficiency is targeted toward Vegetarians and Vegans, as meats are a great source of zinc.  There are lots of foods such as cereals that are fortified with zinc as well as calcium and other minerals in order to prevent mineral deficiencies.

  • Oysters
  • Shellfish
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Pork
  • Strawberries
  • Pine Nuts
  • Fish
  • Kidney Beans
  • Liver
  • Milk
  • All-Bran Cereals
  • Salads
  • Fruits
  • Bananas
  • Lima Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Nuts
  • Artichoke
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Cauliflower
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Olives
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat Germ
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Squash

The Health Benefits of Zinc

  • Zinc is very beneficial to the skin, and is absolutely necessary. It has proven to be a great remedy in treating acne and pimples. It also helps to moderate oils on the skin by helping to keep the skin smooth. By eating foods that are rich in zinc, you are doing your skin a huge favor and in the long run it may even help to prevent and minimize signs of aging.
  • If you are deficient in zinc, your wounds will heal slower. Zinc plays a very important role in the synthesis of collagen which is a necessary proponent to healing wounds.
  • Deficiencies in zinc has been linked to eczema, and by consuming healthy portions of zinc on a daily basis you could be preventing eczema outbreaks. Furthermore, zinc has been identified as a good way of treating eczema due to its healing properties.
  • Zinc also plays a role in prostate health.  If you are Zinc-deficient, you are vulnerable to an enlarged prostate which could leave your vulnerable to prostate cancers.
  • There are so numerous health benefits to zinc, and the list could go on and on.  With that being said, I will continue to add additional benefits to this article as time passes.  Over time, the list could prove to exceed a few pages.  Be sure you keep that in mind, and remember Zinc is very important!

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