October 4, 2007
Immunity Booster: Zinc
An essential nutrient for our body, zinc is second only to iron as the most abundant trace mineral in our body. Because this essential nutrient is needed in small amounts by the human body, severe zinc deficiency is rare.
Zinc is important for activity of enzymes needed for regulating cell growth, helping heal wounds and promoting a healthy immune system. Another significant role involves acuity of taste and smell. This important mineral also helps your body use carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The American Dietetic Association reports zinc positively impacts cognitive function and behavior not only in early development, but through life.
The recommended daily value for zinc is 11 milligrams for men and eight milligrams for women. Careful dietary planning to include foods that contain zinc will ensure an adequate intake.
The availability of zinc in foods varies widely. Meats and seafood are much better sources of zinc than vegetable products. A three-ounce serving of beef provides 39 percent of the zinc most people need each day. Individuals who limit their diets to foods of vegetable origin may need to monitor their zinc intake to assure they get sufficient amounts.
The average person does not need to be concerned about purchasing zinc supplements to prevent a deficiency. In fact, taking large amounts of zinc supplements may be toxic and cause acute gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting.
Some specific sources of zinc are seafood (especially oysters), meat liver, eggs, milk, brewer's yeast, whole wheat bread, wheat germ, black-eyed peas and fermented soybean paste (miso).
Posted by Lisa at October 4, 2007 7:49 AM
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