Avoiding Zinc Deficiency: Why Is This Mineral Important to Your Health?

I am thrilled to present today's blog post which comes to you courtesy of Mercola.com

Avoiding Zinc Deficiency:  Why Is This Mineral Important to Your Health

Do you feel as if you’re not in the pink of health? Maybe you’re not taking note of certain important factors in your life. Perhaps you’re not physically active or not getting enough sleep. Another possible reason is that you’re not eating a nutritionally-balanced diet. Indeed, nutritional deficits like zinc deficiency can influence your overall state of health.


Here’s one proof of how nutritional deficiency can affect you: a paper published in Nature Neuroscience in July 2011 says that the amount of zinc in your central nervous system may significantly impact the transmission of pain in your body. According to researchers, the zinc in your body – particularly the abundant amounts found in your brain and spinal cord – inhibits NMDA-type glutamate receptors, which mediate pain. The researchers came up with this conclusion after studying mice with NMDA receptor mutations, which block zinc binding.

 

This may be one reason why taking note of your diet, particularly your zinc intake, is crucial to your optimal wellbeing. It also explains why zinc deficiency, a growing problem in many modern countries, should not be taken lightly.

 

Zinc Deficiency: Are You at Risk?

According to health experts, almost two billion people all over the world today suffer from zinc deficiency due to the poor amounts of zinc in their diet. In the United States, 12 percent of the population is already at risk of zinc deficiency. Forty percent of this number is made up of people in their senior years. 

 

The problem with zinc deficiency is that it’s not very evident. In fact, zinc deficiency symptoms are often mistaken for other health conditions. What’s more, many people have never had their zinc status tested, and most diagnostic exams are not very accurate – it’s no wonder very few folks are aware of this nutrient deficiency. 

 

Don’t wait for zinc deficiency symptoms to show up. You can act now to get rid of this condition and improve your state of health.

 

Zinc-Rich Foods You Should Add to Your Diet

Many people think that they can solve nutrient deficiencies by taking supplements. In this case, a zinc supplement seems like the ideal solution, but you should remember that you can also get zinc from healthy foods. In fact, getting zinc from food sources may be a better option that taking a zinc supplement.

   

You may be wondering which foods can help you prevent zinc deficiency. Here’s one tip: choose animal-sourced foods over plant-sourced foods. The zinc in animal-sourced foods are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. In addition, plant zinc sources contain poor levels of zinc that may not be enough to address your deficiency. 

Here are some zinc-rich foods you can add to your healthy diet: 

  1. Oysters – You can get as much as 18 milligrams of zinc per 100-gram serving of oysters. Oysters are usually consumed fresh and raw, but they can also be added to soups, stews, and other dishes.
  2. Toasted wheat germ – You can buy this toasted, packed in jars. Wheat germ is usually sprinkled on top of foods like rice, salads, or steamed veggies. It can give you as much as 17 milligrams of zinc in every serving.
  3. Liver – Beef, goose, and chicken liver are all good sources of zinc. However, veal liver is the most recommended, as it contains 12 milligrams of zinc in every 100-gram serving. 
  4. Lean beef cuts – You can get as much as 10 milligrams of zinc in every 100-gram serving of beef, particularly from low-fat shoulder, shank, and chuck cuts. Make sure you buy organic, grass-fed beef, though. Not only is it tastier, but it is also leaner and healthier.
  5. Pumpkin and squash seeds - Every 100-gram serving of these seeds contain as much as 10 milligrams of zinc. The best way to enjoy these is to roast them, crack open their shell, and eat the crunchy flesh inside.

 

If you are consuming a well-balanced diet that’s rich in zinc and other nutrients, not only will you avoid zinc deficiency, but you will also reach optimal health.

 

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Elaine R. writes for Mercola.com. She is always on the lookout for news about healthy eating, nutritional deficiencies like zinc deficiency, pain management, and holistic remedies for various health conditions.



Head Photo Credit:  Ruby and Roxy Photography

Deb Preachuk is a Chronic Pain Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro specializing in corrective exercise, applied biomechanics, STOTT Pilates and functional movement patterns. 

Founder of Pain Free Posture MN,  Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!