Zinc is popularly known to improve the overall immune system. It helps to build 100 different enzymes, and protects your body against various ailments and diseases. Zinc is required for proper growth and development. Zinc plays an important role in improving and maintaining skin’s health. It can repair damaged tissues and heal wounds and also improve quality of taste, smell, eyesight, hair and skin. It helps to produce testosterone in men and lowers PMS symptoms in women.
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Zinc
|0–6 months||2 mg*||2 mg*||–||–|
|7–12 months||3 mg||3 mg||–||–|
|1–3 years||3 mg||3 mg||–||–|
|4–8 years||5 mg||5 mg||–||–|
|9–13 years||8 mg||8 mg||–||–|
|14–18 years||11 mg||9 mg||12 mg||13 mg|
|19+ years||11 mg||8 mg||11 mg||12 mg|
|* Adequate Intake (AI)|
Let us see the top 10 benefits of zinc, a wonderful gift of nature!
Foods such as oysters, mussels, chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, shrimp, cashews, walnuts, almonds, mozzarella, pumpkin, sesame, spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli, blackberries, kiwi, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt, lima beans, lentils, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef, are good sources of Zinc.
Zinc benefits are many. Here we list the most important of them.
1. Bone Development:
Zinc is a cofactor for enzymes and plays a vital role for bone remodelling. Bone mineral contains zinc and fluoride. Zinc prevents the chances of osteoporosis. Zinc deficiency can have a negative impact upon bone health.
Some health disorders like high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney diseases can harm kidney functioning. Both nutrient and mineral, zinc plays a vital role in kidney functioning. Zinc deficiency can cause angiotensis II which obstructs the passage of blood to the kidneys. Zinc deficiency during pregnancy can stop the development and maturation of kidneys of the baby and increase the chances of high blood pressure and renal dysfunction.
3. Pre Menstural Syndrome:
Iron and zinc minerals helps one manage the PMS symptoms. More than 15 milligrams of zinc intake per day lowers the PMS risk. This is always useful in controlling other mood-related symptoms such as depression and mood swings.
4. Blood Pressure:
Zinc can reduce hypertension and boost the immune system; this aids in fighting against infections and stress that cause high blood pressure. Zinc also contains some antioxidant properties that can protect arteries from the harmful effects of hypertension.
If included in your diet, antioxidants can prevent cancer. Adequate zinc delivered to the living cells can treat breast cancer. Zinc also protects our skin from the sun’s harmful (UV) rays. It is included in most of the sunscreens in the form of zinc oxide. Hence, it is useful in preventing skin cancer.
Angina is chest pain or discomfort. This occurs when right quantities of blood and oxygen don’t reach the heart muscles. It is also known as myocardial ischemia. The zinc gluconate can help cure angina.
7. Good Oral Health:
Zinc citrate is added in toothpastes and mouthwashes that help in prevention of dental plaque and gingivitis. Bacteria and tartar don’t thrive in healthy teeth.
Zinc can be applied topically or consumed orally for preventing inflammation and scars caused by acne. Zinc can reduce natural oil (sebum) production in the skin. It can also cure burns, boils, damaged skin, eczema, psoriasis, and ulcers. Thus, zinc benefits for skin are many.
9. Scalp conditions:
Most of the shampoos which we use contain zinc. This is useful in curing fungal infections on the scalp – like dandruff.
10. Diaper Rash:
Zinc can be the best friend for our little babies as it helps cure and prevent diaper rash.
Some important tips for consumption of zinc:
- Avoid over dosage of zinc
- Always consult your doctor before taking any zinc supplements
- Zinc deficiency can cause white spots on your fingernails, dry skin, hangnails, hair loss, diarrhoea, frequent colds, and low sex drive.
- Pregnant women should include zinc in their diet.
Now as you know the numerous benefits of zinc in diet, try to include it in your daily diet. Stay healthy!