The Power of Zinc

The Power of Zinc

Zinc is considered a trace mineral, but is very important for many of our bodily functions. Along with many of the other nutrients we get from our food, like calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B, zinc is also a necessary mineral we must include in our diet. In fact, daily intake of zinc is important because the body does not store zinc.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends women, aged 19-50+, get about 8 milligrams of zinc per day and that men, aged 19-50+, get about 11 milligrams per day.

Zinc plays many important roles in many different processes and systems in the body. Some of these functions include:

  • Improving immune support
  • Helping to prevent diarrhea
  • Reducing risk of stomach ulcers
  • DNA synthesis or creation
  • Promoting cell division
  • Supporting normal growth during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence
  • Required for proper sense of taste and smell


Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency

Not getting enough zinc from diet or supplementation can lead to zinc deficiency. Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency include: growth retardation, loss of appetite and impaired immune function. More sever forms of deficiency can cause:

  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Delayed healing of wounds
  • Taste abnormalities
  • Mental lethargy


How can you get your zinc fix?

The most common sources of zinc in foods comes from lean meats, nuts/seeds, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, eggs, kidney beans, oats, chickpeas/peas and spinach. The following are examples of foods that contain zinc.

  • 3 ounces cooked oyster (74mg)
  • 3 ounces of beef chuck roast (7mg)
  • 3-ounce beef patty (5.3mg)
  • Fortified breakfast cereal ¾ cup serving (3.8mg)
  • 3 ounce pork chop (2.9mg)
  • Yogurt (1.7mg)
  • 1 packet oatmeal (1.1 mg)
  • 1 cup non-fat/low-fat milk (1mg)




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