Zinc: The Super Mineral for Your Immune System
By Stephen R. Farris
In case you haven't heard by now, zinc is one of the best minerals you should be including in your diet, especially if you want to help give your immune system a boost.
Zinc is important for your immune system because -- according to research -- it can help reduce the amount of time it takes to get over a common cold. Research suggests the quickest way to get zinc into your system is by purchasing it in supplement form, which can be obtained at your local grocery or pharmacy.
Zinc benefits may include reducing your risk of heart disease, aid in the treatment of hypothyroidism, improve the health of your eyes, and aid in healing wounds. While zinc can be purchased as a dietary supplement, it is also found in a majority of foods.
For example, one cup of legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and beans) contain 1.66 mg to 2.52 mg of zinc. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that women should include 8 mg of zinc in their daily diet, and men should consume no more than 11 mg daily. It only takes a small amount of zinc to pack a punch for the immune system.
When it comes to getting enough zinc in your daily diet and maintaining a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, then you might consider adding some of these foods into your meals.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds. Sounds simple, but the seeds here are of the pumpkin, chia, and pine nut variety. Pumpkin seeds provide 2.17 mg of zinc per ounce, while pine nuts contain 1.8 mg. Chia seeds come in at 1.3 mg of zinc. However, if you prefer cashews, a one ounce serving of roasted cashews weighs in at 1.6 mg of zinc, which ranks as good.
Not only do whole grains add fiber to your diet, they also contain zinc. For instance, one cup of raw oats contains 2.95 mg of zinc. Plus you get the fiber content and other vitamins and minerals as well.
Yes, I said it. Dark chocolate. To some it may seem like a guilty pleasure, but in reality, dark chocolate has numerous health benefits, especially when it comes to helping lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow. It may not seem like much (0.9 mg of zinc per ounce of dark chocolate), but think of it this way. You can eat a lot of it to reach your daily limit in zinc.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Melbourne, Fla.