Zinc benefits the body in many ways and is required in small amounts to maintain your health and perform certain functions every day. For instance, it helps the production of hormones, it supports growth and repair of muscles and tissues, maintains your immunity and facilitates digestion. This essential nutrient also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and therefore, it offers remarkable therapeutic benefits for common chronic ailments like heart disease.
Zinc is present in every cell, organ, bone, tissue and also in the fluids of our body. You need a regular intake of zinc to maintain life. Zinc deficiency may be caused due to reduced dietary intake, inadequate absorption, increased loss, or increased use of zinc in the body.
According to the nutritionist, “Zinc is a macronutrient that helps in boosting the immune system, maintaining your memory, healing wounds, curing cough, cold and ulcers and preventing acne. Zinc deficiency can be treated by eating foods rich in protein, meats, seafood, dairy products, and nuts. Zinc is best absorbed with a proper balance of other nutrients as found in whole foods.”
Zinc deficiency symptoms
1. Poor Neurological Function: Zinc is essential for neuropsychological performance. Low zinc levels have been linked to attention and motor disorders in infants that persist well into adulthood.
2. Weak Immunity: Zinc plays a major role in maintaining a strong immune system. It is especially vital for T-cell growth and differentiation into the white blood cells that are needed to ward off the diseases, to kill dangerous bacteria and viruses and for the protective functions of our cell membranes.
3. Diarrhea: Due to impaired immunity because of zinc deficiency, persistent diarrhea is a common concern. Your body tends to become more prone to bacterial infections.
4. Growth: Zinc deficiency in children can lead to delayed growth.
5. Lack of appetite: If you’ve been feeling less hungry than usual pay attention.
6. Loss of sense of taste or smell: Severe zinc deficiency may interfere with the sense of smell and taste. Night blindness can be another symptom.
7. Psychological disorders: Zinc deficiency could play a major role in depression.
8. Acne or rashes: People who have zinc deficiency can face various skin problems like rashes and acne.
9. Hair Falls: Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.
Zinc deficiency diseases
Do you happen to have dry and rough skin, or are you constantly bothered by an upset stomach and weakened the immune system? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then there are high chances of you suffering from zinc deficiency. Zinc is one essential nutrient that is required by the human body to ensure proper functioning of the cells and to perform day-to-day functions. Zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s overall health and its benefits are aplenty. Not only does it helps in the growth and repairing of tissues and muscles in the body, but also facilitates digestion and gives a boost to the immune system. Inadequate absorption of zinc in the body or reduced dietary intake of zinc-rich foods could be possible reasons for having a zinc deficiency. In order to steer clear of the symptoms of zinc deficiency, it is imperative to consume a diet that includes zinc-rich foods. If you have been on a quest of finding zinc-rich foods to increase your zinc level in the body, then we’re here to help.
How to treat zinc deficiency at home?
Apart from being one of the most abundantly rich sources of protein, lamb is quite renowned for its high zinc content as well. According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, “Lamb contains good amounts of B vitamins and is particularly rich in B12 and folate. These nutrients are necessary for a healthy nervous system and aid the prevention of heart disease, mood disorders, and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia in older people.”
Here is another option for all the non-vegetarians out there! Fish is an excellent source of zinc. Consuming it twice a week is good to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of zinc in the body.
If you are a vegetarian who certainly cannot depend on the lamb to increase zinc level in the body, then you can bring trail mix to your rescue. Trail mix comprises walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flaxseeds, cashews etc. Did you know that cashews have good amounts of zinc, in comparison to other nuts? A 100 gm serving of cashews contains 5.78 mg of zinc.
Cashews: Cashews are an excellent source of zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. It serves as a filling mid-meal snack in combination with other nuts and dry fruits.
Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of zinc and is loaded with other nutrients and antioxidants.
So, try and include more of the above-mentioned foods in your diet to keep zinc deficiency at bay.
Learn About: Intuitive Eating
Blood Test For zinc deficiency
Zinc level in your body can be tested with a simple blood sample. Test your complete body minerals including zinc at regular intervals. Zinc deficiency test at home, Pune