Zinc and Your Health – Why Zinc is Important
Zinc is a crucial nutrient for health, especially during pregnancy as it aids growth and development of your baby. As a breastfeeding mother or mum to be, it’s so important to ensure that you’re getting adequate Zinc from your diet.
But it takes two to tango. As important as Zinc is during pregnancy for both mother and baby, it’s also so important when planning for babies to think of Dad’s health and the creation of healthy sperm. Zinc is vital for male health, fertility and sperm production, increasing sperm motility and concentration, therefore enhancing the chances of conception.
Zinc is Essential for Health
You may currently take Zinc when you have a cold or flu. However, did you know that your cells need it on a daily basis? The adult body contains approximately 2–3 grams of Zinc, mostly stored inside your cells. Zinc has far-reaching actions which affect the health of your whole body and that of your growing baby.
Are Your Zinc Levels Low?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, your Zinc levels may be low:
• Recurrent colds, flus and/or infections
• Poor appetite, reduced sense of taste and/or smell
• Sluggish digestion
• Slow growth and development
• Slow healing, acne and other skin conditions
• Sugar cravings
• Stress, anxiety, and depression.
Causes of Zinc Deficiency
Many people are deficient in Zinc. Inadequate dietary intake, increased physiological needs, a diet high in sugar or alcohol and profuse sweating are common causes of Zinc deficiency.
A Simple Taste Test for Zinc Deficiency
Your Naturopath can do a simple taste test to determine if you have a Zinc deficiency. The test involves holding a solution in your mouth for 10 seconds and assessing your taste response. The test relies on the presence of gustin, a Zinc-dependant enzyme. A lack of Zinc reduces the activity of gustin, thus altering your taste perception.
How Zinc Nourishes Your Body
Zinc protects your cells from free radical damage, providing antioxidant defence. Other actions include supporting healthy immunity, and improving appetite and digestive function. Its ability to increase the healing rate of acne and wounds makes it indispensable for skin health. Zinc also plays a key role in blood sugar metabolism for greater blood sugar control.
Recent research has shown Zinc to be good for the brain, reducing stress and having a positive impact on mental function and mood. It’s found in high concentrations in the hippocampus area of the brain which controls thought and memory.
Dietary Sources of Zinc
Oysters known as an aphrodisiac… and for good reason – they are rich in Zinc!
YOU DON’T JUST HAVE TO EAT OYSTERS!
Oysters are a rich source of Zinc, but if you are not a fan, beef, pork, chicken and lamb all contain Zinc.
Non-animal sources of Zinc include nuts, wholegrains, legumes, yeast and ginger.
Better Zinc Absorption
If you feel you may be lacking Zinc in your diet, talk to Red Tent Naturopath Lindsay about taking the highly absorbable form of the mineral. Zinc is less likely to interact with other minerals, including copper, calcium and iron. The more your body can absorb, the greater benefits it will deliver in improving your health.
Make an appointment with Lindsay today to discuss your nutrition and how you could benefit from changing your diet. Call Red Tent on 02 9300 9522