Zinc

Background Information:

  • Found in almost every cell

Health Benefits: 

  • Helps the immune system work properly
  • Important for wounds to heal
  • Helps the body protect the gut from damage
  • Can improve the response to antidepressants while reducing side effects of antidepressant medication
  • Healthy brain cells are loaded with zinc, particularly in areas that govern emotion. This mineral helps create new brain cells & regulate communication between neurons which is linked to a better mood.

Recommended Daily Allowance: 

  • Men: 11 mg
  • Women: 8 mg
  • Vegetarians need 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians due to lower absorption from plant sources

Sources: 

  • Beans
  • Cashews (dry roasted) – 7.67 mg in 1 cup
  • Cheese (Swiss) – 1.2 mg in 1/8 cup
  • Crab (Alaska king) – 10.2 mg in 1 leg
  • Lean meat
  • Low fat milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Oysters – 52 mg in 3 oz fresh (8 medium); 77 mg in 3 oz canned
  • Pork (loin) – 3.5 mg in 6-7 oz
  • Poultry
  • Pumpkin seeds (roasted) – 9.5 mg in 1 cup
  • Seafood
  • Spinach
  • Whole grains

Deficiency Signs & Symptoms: 

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakened immune system
  • Those most likely to be deficient are vegetarians, pregnant women, or those with GI disorders such as colitis

References:

  • “Happiness.” Prevention. August 2014. 98.
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  1. Pingback: Comparing Nut Butters | Michelle Smith RD Secrets

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