What do you know about zinc? This essential trace mineral is a lot more than just an extra-strength sunscreen. Your body uses it to produce cells and DNA, fight off infections, heal injuries, and ensure proper function of many body systems.
Your body does not store zinc for a longer time like fat-soluble vitamins, so you need a constant supply of this mineral. You do not need it in large quantities every day, but you do need it in sufficient amount.
Zinc is essential for:
- Hair growth and skin health
- Immune function
- Metabolism and absorption of nutrients
- Gut health
- Hormone balance
- Mental clarity
- DNA synthesis
- Wound healing
- Eye health
- Even adequate smell and taste
- Proper cell division (which is why it’s important during pregnancy).
One study suggests that zinc can even help protect your body against cancer development. The reason that it’s difficult to check your zinc levels is because 90% of this mineral are stored in muscle and bone tissue.
Signs Of Zinc Deficiency
As you can see, zinc plays numerous essential roles in the human’s body, so insufficient amounts of it can trigger numerous health problems. Here are the most common signs of zinc shortage.
#1. Loss of Appetite
Lack of zinc can impair the sense of smell and taste, therefore causing loss of appetite.
#2. Hair Loss
Zinc is important for the growth and health of your hair, so lack of it can lead to hair breakage and loss of hair. What’s more, you may even lose your eyelash and eyebrow hair too.
#3. Skin Prone To Acne And Rashes
Zinc helps destroy free radicals, produce collagen, and deflect UV radiation. All this makes it very beneficial for your skin, so lack of it might trigger psoriasis, acne, or eczema.
#4. Constant Anxiety
According to scientists, this mineral is essential for mood stabilization. So, if you are anxious all the time, check your diet to see if it includes sufficient zinc-rich foods.
#5. High Stress Levels
Avoiding stress nowadays can be quite challenging. But, you can help control your stress levels by taking foods high in zinc, as this mineral provides anti-stress effects. So, your stress may be triggered by zinc deficiency.
#6. Blurry Vision
Zinc helps vitamin A to develop the eye-protecting pigment called melanin, therefore keeping healthy retina. According to research, it helps prevent macular degeneration which can significantly hinder your vision.
#7. Achy Joints
As we already said, zinc is kept mostly in your muscle and bone tissue. So, lack of it can make your bones prone to fractures, and your joints feeling painful.
Lack of zinc means a weak immune system that makes you prone to various infections. So, if you get infections all the time, you may wish to increase your zinc consumption through your diet.
#9. Difficulty Hearing
One 2010 study revealed that people with hearing loss had substantially lower levels of zinc than those who had not. What’s more, another study showed that hearing loss could be treated with zinc supplements.
#10. Chronic Diseases
Scientist link zinc shortage to cognitive problems, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, Wilson’s disease, age-related degenerative diseases, and autoimmune diseases.
Apparently, an inadequate quantity of this mineral can increase inflammation and oxidative stress– both which are closely connected to chronic disease.
10 Best Food Sources Of Zinc
You can increase your zinc levels by including more of the following foods to your diet:
- Grass-fed Beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
- Kefir or Yogurt
- Cocoa powder
If you notice you have the above-listed symptoms, increase your intake of these zinc-rich foods. You can also consult your doctor to consider supplementing with zinc.