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Zinc: All You Need to Know

By Sara Butler

Getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet is essential to your good health and continued wellness. One mineral that deserves more attention than it usually gets is zinc, which is just behind iron as the most abundant mineral in the human body. Here's what you need to know about zinc and how you can make sure you get enough of it.

Why Your Body Needs Zinc

Your body uses zinc for a variety of processes. It helps your body to maintain a healthy and optimally functioning immune system. It also helps your body to heal when injured. Zinc is found in every tissue in your body and it also uses it to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It helps with thyroid function, cell stabilization, vision, and blood clotting. To say it's important would be an understatement, which makes it important that you get enough each day.

How Much Zinc?

How much zinc do you need each day? The recommended daily amount is 11 milligrams for adult men and eight for women. If you're unsure if you're getting enough, then there are two things that can clue you in: How your fingernails look and how often you get sick.

If you catch colds often, then it might be because you don't get enough daily zinc. Also, take a look at your fingernails. If you have white spots on your nails, then it may mean that your zinc levels need to be tested to make sure you're not deficient.

There are a couple of other things that can be signs of zinc deficiency too. These include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Digestive issues
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid issues
  • Reproductive issues
  • Problems with blood sugar
  • Mood issues

How to Get Enough Zinc

The best way to get the zinc your body needs is to eat it. Your body cannot store zinc, so it's important to eat enough every single day. The best foods for zinc include:

  • Oysters - These provide you with the most zinc of any food with over 66 milligrams in 3 ounces
  • Alaskan king crab -Three ounces of king crab provides you with about 6 milligrams of zinc
  • Grass-fed beef - Four ounces will provide you with 5 milligrams of zinc
  • Lobster - Go ahead and splurge because 3 ounces of lobster provides you with 3 milligrams of zinc
  • Oatmeal - A bowl of oatmeal in the morning provides you with 3 milligrams of zinc
  • Pumpkin seeds - A great snack, 1 ounce provides you with almost 3 milligrams of zinc

Make sure you're getting enough zinc in your diet so you can stay healthy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Katy, Tex.

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