Zinc is one of the most important minerals for your body as it helps regulate many body functions and keeps you fit and healthy. When you consume less zinc, you are at risk of getting colds and flu. It also plays an important part in the immune system and helps in cell division. This mineral is found in every cell of your body but these levels start falling, as your body gets older. Zinc also has a number of antioxidants that protect the body from diseases and keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. When your body does not get the required zinc levels, the condition of your heart also declines and puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease. In this article, let’s look at some of the Zinc Foods.
How much zinc is required on a daily basis?
Even though zinc is found in every cell in the body, this is still not sufficient to keep you healthy. Your body is only able to absorb around 20 to 40 per cent of the zinc from food items. It is better to consume more animal-based products as the zinc is absorbed better and the protein helps in faster absorption. The required daily intake of zinc formen is 11 milligrams (mg) every day and for women it is 8 mg per day. Pregnant and lactating women must consume 3 extra milligrams of zinc.
The required daily intake of zinc for children who are in the age group of 4 to 8 years is 5 mg while for those who are in the age group of 9 to 13 years it is 8 mg. Infants need just about 3 milligrams of zinc per day. People with diseases like alcoholism, Cirrhosis (liver disease), kidney disease, Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are likely to have a zinc deficiency and may need extra milligrams of zinc in their diet.
How does zinc affect your heart’s health?
Calcium is generally released in your body through type-2 ryanodine receptors (RyR2), and these need to be regulated or else it may result in heart failure and arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. Zinc is important for your heart as it helps control this release of calcium in your body and its movement in the heart cells. This is because this mineral works in collaboration with the RyR2 and modulates the amount of calcium that is released, and maintains it at the required level.
Zinc also helps prevent the death of cells in the heart tissue and keeps the heartbeat normal. Studies have shown that majority of people with heart diseases have zinc deficiency. Thus, it is very important to maintain the required levels benefits of zinc in the body to keep your heart healthy and fit.
What are the Zinc Foods?
Animal products are definitely the best way to make sure that your body gets the required daily intake of zinc. Eating oysters is the most beneficial as you get about 182 milligrams of zinc in every serving. You can also try consuming grass-fed beef as you get around 1 milligram of zinc per ounce. You can also get a good amount of zinc from other animal-based foods like raw cheese like Gouda and Swiss, beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poultry, seafood, shellfish, yoghurt, and raw milk kefir. If you are a vegetarian, you can grow seeds and let them sprout to get the most zinc out of them.Generally, it is best to avoid zinc supplements as this can create excess zinc in the body and affect absorption of other minerals in the body.
Other benefits of zinc
Zinc has over 300 different enzymes that not only benefits the heart but also improves other parts of your body and regulates many functions like:
Zinc helps regulate the immune system as it affects the antibody production, neutrophils, phagocytosis, natural killer cells, gene regulation in your white blood cells and cytokine production. When your body doesn’t get the right amount of zinc, your immune system can get affected in about four weeks. Consuming a few zinc lozenges can help prevent as well as get rid of a cough and cold.
Keeps eyes healthy
This mineral also collaborates with Vitamin A in your eyes, helps it become more sensitive to light, and ensures better communication with the brain via nerve impulses.
Alzheimer’s occurs when there is a severe clumping of proteins in the brain and thus affects the thought process. Zinc is one mineral that can prevent the clumping of these proteins and thus helps keep Alzheimer’s at bay.
A diet that is lacking in zinc also helps you lose control over your sensory organs and you are unable to smell or taste. This is because this mineral creates the enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA) VI that helps you to taste and smell. Majority of the older generation that has difficulty in tasting or smelling things are suffering from a zinc deficiency.
Zinc also helps men regulate their sperm quantity and quality and thus maintains their reproductive health. Therefore, a diet rich in zinc is necessary to ensure increased fertility.
Attention deficit disorder
Children suffering from an attention disorder have been shown to have a zinc deficiency. Zinc can prevent impaired socialization, hyperactivity and impulsivity to a large extent and keeps the mind focused and in full control.
Thus, you can see that zinc is one mineral that is highly essential for the body as it not only regulates your heartbeat and keeps your heart healthy, but also helps maintain your immune system as well. Zinc has also been shown to keep your eyes healthy, prevent Alzheimer’s, keep the mind more focused, improve reproductive functions, and heighten sensory organs. But don’t overdose on zinc supplements or you could cause more severe health problems in your body. It is best to stick to an animal-based diet where you will get the required daily intake of zinc and will keep you and your body healthy. Let’s make sure we add enough Zinc Foods in our diet and live healthy.
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