Zinc is a mineral with countless health benefits. It is necessary for protein synthesis and helps in the formation of the cells of your immune system. It is available in high concentrations in red or white blood cells, the retina of your eye, bones, kidneys, and skin. In males, the prostate gland and semen store high amounts of zinc.
More than 200 enzymes in your body need zinc for normal functioning. About 2000 out of the 100,000 proteins involved in human life comprise of zinc. Your body consists of nearly 2 to 3 g of zinc.
Here we will discuss zinc and its essential health benefits.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that is also renowned as an “essential trace element” as a minute amount of zinc is necessary for your health. As your body is unable to store excess zinc, you should take it regularly in your diet. Zinc is an active antioxidant and involves numerous biochemical reactions involving enzyme function, carb metabolism, and protein formation.
Zinc is required for the adequate growth and maintenance of your body. You can find it in many systems or biological reactions, and it is required for the natural defense system, blood clotting, wound healing, thyroid function, etc. Meat, seafood, dairy product, nuts, legumes, and unrefined grains provide extensive zinc levels.
Food Sources of Zinc
There are different animal or plant sources of this beneficial trace mineral. Most significant sources are given below;
- Shellfish-Oyster, crab, mussel, lobster or clam
- Poultry-chicken or turkey
- Meat-Beef, lamb, pork, and bison
- Fish-Flounder, trout, salmon, or sole
- Nuts and seeds-Pumpkin seed, cashew, hemp seed, etc
- Legumes-Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, or kidney beans
- Dairy products-Milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Whole grains-Oatmeals, brown rice, etc
- Some vegetables-Mushroom, broccoli, asparagus, and beet
Regular consumption of this mineral is about 13 to 15 mg per day that is appropriate to eliminate deficiencies. Unlike women, men need higher amounts of zinc. But, optimal daily-recommended intakes are different for different people like;
- Adult and teenage men- 10 to 12 mg per day
- Adult and teenage women – 9 mg per day
- Pregnant women-14 mg per day
- Lactating mothers-16 mg per day
The Top Seven Health Benefits of Zinc Mineral
1. Boost Immune Function
Zinc supplements are consumed for boosting immunity because of its ability to maximize immune function and combat inflammation.
It may also function as an antioxidant, aiding minimizes inflammation or protecting from chronic conditions like heart disorder, cancer, and diabetes.
2. Improves Sexual Health
Zinc prevents oxidation of sperm due to its antioxidant property. Its deficiency increases the risk of infertility. According to one study, individuals with inadequate zinc in semen have lower sperm counts and abnormal sperm morphology.
BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) is the typical disorder in males older than 55 years. Research has highlighted that individuals with low levels of zinc are at higher risk of malfunctioning the prostate gland, making it larger and leading to prostate cancer.
3. Minimize the Risk of Certain Age-Related Diseases
Zinc is incredibly important to minimize the risk of age-related disorders like pneumonia, illness, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
This trace mineral relieves oxidative stress and maximizes immune response by improving T-cells’ function that aid in protecting the body from infection. Aged people who supplement with zinc may feel promoted influenza vaccination response, increased risk of cold, and maximize brain function.
4. For Acne Treatment
This beneficial mineral regulates or controls more than 100 hormones in the human body. Appropriate zinc consumption will eliminate hormonal imbalance that can cause acne breakouts or zinc, which also normalizes skin oil formation. On recent study shows that individuals having severe acne have reduced levels of zinc than others.
Zinc is used as supplementation and medications for the treatment of the inflammation of acne as it minimizes inflammation and can kill the harmful agents that can cause acne.
5. Maximize Performance of Athletes
Zinc plays a vital role in the formation of testosterone, a hormone that significantly influences the expression of male. It may help in building muscle and maintaining metabolism. Research has highlighted that its supplementation to athletes will enhance the creation of testosterone after a workout.
6. Improve Cardiovascular Health
This mineral is also essential in the circulation of your blood as it maintains the endothelial cell, the inner walls of blood vessels. Its deficiency can lead to damage to endothelial cell integrity, leading to cholesterol production on the artery walls causing heart disorder.
7. Helps in Gastrointestinal Infection
The absorption of zinc salts also aids in gastrointestinal infections, offering antimicrobial action in the GI tract. Its salts are also utilized as tablets to destroy pathogens. So, you can take zinc supplements to improve your gut health.
Disadvantage of Zinc Mineral
- Zinc is notorious for causing nausea, vomiting, and irritation.
- The tolerable limit for zinc is 40 mg daily, but irregular intake leads to stomach pain, mainly if consumed on an empty stomach.
- Higher doses cause headaches, diarrhea, or exhaustion.
- It can interfere with plenty of typical prescription medications, involving antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and immunosuppressant drugs.
- Long-term supplementation can also minimize iron or copper absorption that may eventually cause anemia and other issues linked to those minerals’ low levels.
Zinc is a trace mineral and also essential nutrition for your body. There are many health benefits of this nutrient, like helping the body absorb Vitamin A or B, free radical removal, cell growth or reproduction, hormone regulation, wound healing, protein synthesis, offering energy to your activities, and maximizing your immunity.
You can quickly get this mineral in egg, sunflower seed, mushrooms, meat, oatmeals, beans, nuts, etc.
Note: Hopefully, this information is enough to understand the health benefits of zinc. But if you want to know more about zinc, you can visit Nifty Benefits (it is your online source to receive factual and credibly-sourced info about the nutritional benefits of healthy foods and facilitate you a lot in making your life worth living!