Zinc-Rich Food | Its Benefits and Why Should You Include It in Your Diet?

Nov 9, 2021
3 min read

Many of us know Zinc to be just an element of the periodic table. Unlike other minerals like iron, sodium, and calcium that contribute to various body functions, the role of zinc in our body is not much known to many. It was only during the pandemic when many of us became aware of its role in strengthening the immune system. Otherwise, Vitamin C has been the sole attention- seeker, whenever we talked about immunity.

We all have been trying our best to bolster our immunity to fight the deadly virus in the last two years. And, the role of Zinc is not to be overlooked. Not only it contributes to strengthening our immune system but also to the smooth functioning of many other body processes.

Role of Zinc in Our Body

  • Acts as a coenzyme for over 300 enzymes that aid in various body processes like digestion, metabolism, and protein synthesis
  • Stimulates the sense of taste and smell
  • Participates in healing wounds and repair of muscles and tissues
  • Plays a crucial role in cell division and DNA synthesis, hence contributes to body growth in children, adolescents, and pregnant women
  • Ensures healthy and glowing skin

Why Should You Include Zinc-Rich Food in Your Diet

As it is one of the most vital minerals that your body needs to perform several functions, you must include zinc-rich food in your diet. Let us have a look at the various health benefits it offers.

  • Bolsters immune system

Zinc boosts the activity of T-cells (immune cells) in our body and facilitates the proper functioning of the immune system. As per studies, 16% of respiratory infections globally are due to zinc deficiency. People deficient in Zinc complain of recurrent infections and are prone to falling sick.

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  • Speeds up wound healing and tissue repair

Zinc plays a critical role in the formation of platelets and collagen, thereby helping in healing wounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties rev up wound recovery.

  • Ensures healthy and glowing skin

If you often get acne, you might have a zinc deficiency. Zinc suppresses the secretion from the oil glands and reduces inflammation which helps to treat acne and other skin infections. It is also known to protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun.

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  • Fights chronic diseases

Zinc reduces oxidative stress that leads to the reduction of inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disorders and cancer.

  • Improves eye health

You must be aware that Vitamin A is essential for maintaining eye health. Zinc activates Vitamin A and also produces melanin that protects your eyes from the UV rays of the sun.

  • Promotes muscle growth

As zinc plays a crucial role in cell division, it is responsible for cell growth. It also induces the secretion of growth hormone, testosterone and accelerates muscle mass building.

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  • Boosts energy

Zinc helps in protein synthesis. It also facilitates the breakdown of carbohydrates and releases energy. Moreover, it helps overcome muscle fatigue and boosts energy.

Deficiency Symptoms

People suffering from Zinc deficiency might exhibit the below symptoms:

  • Hair loss
  • Lack of stamina
  • Loss of libido
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor sense of smell and taste
  • Weak immune system
  • Weight loss
  • Delayed wound healing

Sources of Zinc-Rich Food

Zinc is available in natural sources as well as in the form of supplements. Here we have got a list of zinc-rich food for you:

  • Dairy products (cheese and yogurt)
  • Chicken
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin, hemp, and flax seeds)
  • Legumes (Lentils, beans, and chickpeas)
  • Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, ginger, and garlic
  • Fruits like guavas, berries, oranges, kiwis, avocados, and pomegranate
  • Dark chocolate

The Bottom Line

Zinc is a vital mineral that plays significant role in our body. It is essential for maintaining overall health. Its role in boosting immunity has made it one of the most sought-after minerals these days. Include zinc-rich food in your diet regularly to reap the benefits of this magical mineral.

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