What is zinc?
Zinc might be the second-to-last element of the periodic table, but it’s definitely an essential worker.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, zinc is an essential nutrient found in cells throughout our body and is needed for healthy development and to maintain optimal health.
What does zinc do for the body?
Because our bodies don’t store zinc, we need a daily dose to aid in growth, DNA synthesis, immune function and more. Just a little bit of zinc can go a long way to realize the benefits.
Zinc is a super-nutrient responsible for functions that span supporting your immune system to providing you with a proper sense of taste and smell. It supports your health in myriad ways. Here are some examples.
1. Zinc helps our bodies grow and develop
During pregnancy, infancy and childhood, zinc is important to maintain proper growth. Why? Because our bodies need it to perform key functions, such as making proteins, DNA and genetic material.
2. Zinc is good for your immune system
Our bodies need a little help from zinc to support our natural defenses. The function of nearly all of our body’s immune cells is highly dependent on each one having an adequate amount of zinc.
Children and older adults in developing countries with low levels of zinc need extra amounts in their diets to help their immune system. Most daily multivitamins contain zinc, or you can choose a supplement that targets zinc. Nutrilite™ Immunity Defense Zinc + Holy Basil provides 20mg of zinc in a daily serving.
3. Zinc helps your sense of taste and smell
The next time you’re enjoying the scent of a beautiful bouquet of flowers or savoring the flavor of your favorite meal, thank zinc.
One of the enzymes that is key for those two senses to function properly is dependent on zinc. If you’re not getting enough, you may notice it the next time to stop to smell the roses.
4. Zinc is key to your eye health
Zinc is highly concentrated in your eyes and plays a key function in transporting vitamin A from your liver to your eyes to produce melanin, which acts as a protective pigment.
How much zinc per day?
The recommended daily intake for zinc is different depending on your age, but adults need 8-11mgs per day, according to the National Institutes of Health. Teens need 9-11mgs, younger children need 5-8mgs and infants and toddlers need 2-3mgs.
Zinc foods: What foods have zinc?
So how do you make sure you’re getting enough zinc to reap all these benefits? Choose zinc-rich foods. Here’s a list of the top 10 foods highest in zinc to get you started:
- Firm Tofu
- Lean pork chops
- Hemp seeds
- Low-fat yogurt
- Shiitake mushrooms
For vegetarians, beans and grains are good choices, but they typically have compounds that keep zinc from being fully absorbed by the body so you may need to eat as much as 50% more zinc than the recommended amounts. Other good sources of zinc include: Dark chocolate, cucumbers, seafood such as crab and lobster, fortified breakfast cereals and Goji berries. (Bonus: Goji berries are a super fruit!)
For more information on vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, read additional blogs at Amway Connections. And to learn more about Nutrilite Immunity Defense Zinc + Holy Basil, click on the links below.
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