The 7 most common zinc deficiency symptoms that you should be aware of include:
1. Poor Neurological Function
Absolutely essential for growth and neuropsychological performance, low zinc levels have been connected with attention and motor disorders in infants that persist well into adulthood. A Chinese study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that a zinc supplement providing just 50% of the recommended daily allowance improved attention. But don’t run out and pump your kids full of zinc just yet! The research found that zinc is best absorbed with a proper balance of other nutrients, as found in whole foods, which is why it is so important to contact your natural health care physician for some much needed guidance should you suspect a zinc deficiency.
2. Weak immunity
Zinc is also absolutely essential to maintain immune function. Specifically, it is vital for:
T-cell growth and differentiation into the white blood cells that we need to ward off disease.
Apoptosis (“programmed cell death”) to kill dangerous bacteria, virus and cancer cells.
Gene transcription, the first step of gene expression.
Protective functions of our cell membranes.
Zinc is also a key structural component for a slew of hormone receptors and proteins that contribute to healthy, balance mood and immune function.
Most likely due to the impaired immunity that is caused by zinc deficiency infectious, persistent diarrhea is a major public health concern. Affecting nearly 2 million children in developing countries every year, these children become more susceptible to coli and other bacterial infections. Zinc supplementation, however, has only been found effective at treating babies older than 6 months. So, be sure to consult with your pediatrician before giving zinc to your infant.
4. Allergies: Food & Environment
Chronic stress causes adrenal fatigue and can lead to calcium, magnesium and zinc deficiency; which contributes to elevated histamine levels. Zinc is a key factor in how your body stores histamine. So since it is required to store histamine, zinc deficiency allows more histamine to be released into the surrounding tissue fluids. This is important for two reasons:
Excess histamine in your body will produce many of the common symptoms associated with allergies (running nose, sneezing, hives, etc.).
High histamine levels increase one’s sensitivity to all allergic reactions.
5. Thinning hair
A common complaint of people battling adrenal fatigue, zinc deficiency is associated with hypothyroidism, an overlooked cause of thinning hair and alopecia. According to Indian researchers, thyroid hormones are essential for zinc absorption. Subsequently, hypothyroidism-caused hair loss may not improve with thyroxine unless zinc supplements are added.
6. Leaky gut
First described over 70 years ago, the gut-skin connection describes how leaky gut (“intestinal permeability”) can cause a slew of health conditions including: nutrient malabsorption, skin disorders, allergies, autoimmune disease, and thyroid problems. Shown clinically to help resolve permeability alterations, zinc supplementation can actually “tighten” leaky gut in Crohn’s patients.
7. Acne or rashes
Going hand-in-hand with leaky gut causing various skin issues, some people will develop skin rashes and even acne in the absence of sufficient zinc.
Zinc health benefits
Zinc is vital for a healthy immune system, correctly synthesizing DNA, promoting healthy growth during childhood, and healing wounds.
The following are some of the health benefits of zinc:
1) Zinc and regulating immune function
the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes (T cells).
T cells help the body in two ways:
controlling and regulating immune responses
attacking infected or cancerous cells
Zinc deficiency can severely impair immune system function.
2) Zinc for treating diarrhea
3) Zinc effects on learning and memory
4) Zinc to treat the common cold
5) Zinc’s role in wound healing
Zinc plays a role in maintaining skin integrity and structure. Patients experiencing chronic wounds or ulcers often have deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels. Zinc is often used in skin creams for treating diaper rash or other skin irritations.
6) Zinc and decreased risk of age-related chronic disease
8) Zinc for preventing age-related muscular degeneration (AMD)
9) Zinc and fertility
source of iron and zinc food
Spinach may not be the food with the most Zinc in it, but it holds its own considering that it’s a plant source. It’s just one of the many vitamins and minerals that spinach is known for, and one more reason to eat it more often. Having a salad with spinach as the base is an easy way to start getting more Zinc into your diet, especially when you top that salad with other Zinc-containing foods. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (0.53 milligrams), 23 calories.
Beef is a great food for upping your Zinc levels because ounce for ounce it has more zinc than many other foods. This means that a reasonable serving of beef will yield you more Zinc for your efforts. Some other foods on this list may have more Zinc, but it’s unlikely that you would eat very much of that food in one sitting, like pumpkin seeds. But a nice serving of steak will go a long way in the Zinc department for that day.
See the Recipe : moussaka
See the Recipe : moussaka
Shrimp serves as a good food for Zinc intake, and also provides other benefits like being a high quality protein, and being low in calories. They are also a surprising source of antioxidants. Usually it’s fruits and vegetables that get mentioned in a discussion of antioxidants, but shrimp have pretty good sized dose of an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation in the body, which can provide relief to anyone suffering from an inflammatory condition. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (1.34 milligrams), 85 calories.
4. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are a great non-meat source of Zinc, which is good news for vegans and vegetarians looking to get the Zinc requirements met. These beans are also helpful in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels, providing energy and keeping you feeling full for long periods without a subsequent crash. They can be eaten as a side dish by themselves or added to any entree to boost fiber intake and add additional protein.
See Recipe :
See Recipe :
5. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds get a lot of attention because of their omega-3 and fiber, but it’s also a good source of Zinc. Keep in mind that this is one food that you won’t be eating a mouthful at a time, but it can be used as part of a Zinc-conscious eating plan to get your total numbers up. They can be sprinkled on just about anything for added nutrition. Try pouring some into soups and smoothies and you won’t even know it’s there. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (5 milligrams), 534 calories.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Chances are, you’re not eating enough pumpkin seeds. If you save this as an annual October treat, it’s time to start getting them into your system throughout the year. They’re not only remarkably high in Zinc, but they provide other benefits to the body like helping you sleep better at night, giving you a dose of omega-3s, and keeping your blood sugar levels looking good. Promising research also suggests that they may be considered an anti-inflammatory food. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (7.81 milligrams), 559 calories.
The amount of Zinc in oysters varies, but will always be enough for the day if you get a 100 gram serving. The benefit of eating foods high in Zinc rather than taking a Zinc supplement is that your body can easily process excess levels of a mineral that comes from natural sources. This is why you don’t have to worry that a serving of oysters provides more Zinc than what is needed, your body will simply expel what it doesn’t need. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (16-182 milligrams), 199 calories.
8. Watermelon seeds
Here’s a seed that often gets spit out, and many times doesn’t even show up because the watermelon is seedless. But if you dry watermelon seeds, and even toast them, they can be a wonderful source of Zinc, as well as other good things for the body, like protein, magnesium, healthy fats, and a host of B Vitamins. This makes them a great snack to consider, since most of us are not in the habit of eating them. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (10 milligrams), 602 calories.
Garlic has a long list of health benefits, not the least of which is that it provides a respectable amount of Zinc. Granted, it’s not going to be able to take a big chunk out of your Zinc requirements for the day when used in cooking, but it can contribute and add to the day’s total. Garlic also has cleansing properties, and has long been linked to anti-cancer effects and a healthier heart. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (1.16 milligrams), 149 calories.
10. Lima Beans
Mom says: Eat your lima beans! Turns out she was onto something, and lima beans put up pretty good numbers in the Zinc column. Remember not to go overboard with any one food, and shoot for a variety of different foods to meet your needs. Lima beans are relatively low in calories and help the body in a number of ways including adding more fiber, protein, folate, iron and magnesium. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (2.83 milligrams), 126 calories.
Peanuts can be used as a snack to hold you over between meals, and they also provide plenty of Zinc to help the cause. Consider eating peanut butter if you don’t like the crunchiness of whole peanuts. If you buy an organic variety the only ingredient should be organic peanuts, and therefore it’s just like eating it in whole form, but you don’t have the crunch unless you buy the crunchy version. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (3.27 milligrams), 318 calories.
12. Egg Yolks
The yolks of eggs specifically are a good source of Zinc. The whites, not so much, which is why you’re missing out on a lot if you only opt for egg whites. Egg yolks contain all of the vitamins that are in an egg as well, so by eating the yolk you may be getting more fat but you’re also getting Vitamins A, E, D and K, as well as additional amounts of minerals, which more than make up for any potential drawbacks. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (4.93 milligrams), 322 calories.
Turkey doesn’t show up quite as much as chicken and is typically reserved for sandwiches throughout the year, and in whole form during the holiday. But no matter how you consume it, or how often, it’s going to provide you with a good Zinc dose, without piling on the fat and calories. Opt for roasted turkey breast and avoid the extra sodium and nitrates that cold cuts contain. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (3.09 milligrams), 104 calories.
Salmon often ranks on lists of the healthiest foods you can eat, and for good reason. It’s high in omega-3s and is an excellent source of protein, which is why it can help out dieters across a wide range of different diet strategies. It may not be a Zinc powerhouse like some of the other foods listed here, but it can serve to help add to your total daily intake, which is the overall goal. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (0.64 milligrams), 208 calories.
Lobster may only get eaten on special occasions because of its pr-iciness, but when you do eat it you’re getting a big boost of Zinc without a lot of calories being added to the bottom line. Of course lobster often gets dunked in melted butter, but that butter should be clarified making it ghee, a healthier form of butter that is free of the impurities that ordinary butter contains. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (7.27 milligrams), 89 calories.
16. Dark Chocolate
As if you needed any additional reasons to eat chocolate, here’s one more. You’re getting quite a bit of Zinc in chocolate, but of course it’s also pretty high in calories so you don’t want to overdo it. There are antioxidants in dark chocolate that you don’t get with milk chocolate, and you end up avoiding a lot of the sugar and added fat if you stick to dark chocolate. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (9.6 milligrams), 546 calories.
These might also be labeled Garbanzo Beans in the store, but it’s still chickpeas. These are what is used in hummus, and is pretty much a staple in vegetarian cuisine because of its many healthy properties. Zinc would have to be one of them. You’re getting a good amount of it here, while keeping your calories down, getting extra fiber, as well as protein. It’s a very well-rounded food that can help you feel full and give you additional vitamins and minerals. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (3.43 milligrams), 119 calories.
19. Beef Liver
Beef liver gets it’s own spot on our list because it is so different than ordinary beef. It ranks higher in several categories than beef does, including having slightly higher levels of Zinc. But it doesn’t stop there. It outdoes beef as well as a many foods typically thought of as being healthy in many things like potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin B-12. It may be harder to find than ordinary beef, but it’s worth seeking out. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (4.25 milligrams), 175 calories.d
Try this recipe : Beef liver
Try this recipe : Beef liver
20. Brown Rice
Brown rice is always a good substitute for white rice, because it has a lower Glycemic Index score, has more potassium, more magnesium, more selenium, and fewer carbohydrates. We’ve seen higher Zinc counts in other foods, but the likelihood of eating a 100 gram serving of brown rice is pretty doable. That’s why it makes a great side to any meat dish, and can also be incorporated into thousands of recipes in place of white rice. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (2.02 milligrams), 111 calories.
Peas are one of those quintessential side dishes, and for it’s pretty clear why. They taste good and provide a wide range of benefits like staving off cancer, providing energy, helping with anti-aging, and helping to regulate blood glucose levels. Turns out they’re also not too shabby in Zinc content, and while they don’t provide a big chunk they can serve as a top contributor along with other foods found on this page. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (1.24 milligrams), 81 calories.
22. Sesame Seeds
If the only time you think about sesame seeds is when they’re on a sesame seed bun, it’s time to re-introduce yourself to them. They’re packed with Zinc, and while you likely won’t be eating large quantities of them, they can basically be sprinkled on just about any dish to add instant nutrition. Not only are they high in Zinc, but they’re loaded with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Those are the good fats that your body needs in order to burn off fat. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (7.75 milligrams), 573 calories.
Lamb often gets overlooked on the meat scene because of its higher fat content, but in some countries around the world it is just as popular as beef. The Zinc it contains is reason enough to start adding it to your menu rotation, and you can opt for cuts of lamb that are a bit leaner than others. Ask your butcher for lean cuts, or simply pick out ones that have less visible fat at the store. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (8.66 milligrams), 264 calories.
These healthy nuts are sometimes avoided because of the Nutrition Information label which shows how high in fat they are. But much of their fat content is monounsaturated, a healthy fat. The Zinc content in cashews is another reason to use this as a healthy snack that can tide you over between meals, or be used in a recipe to enhance flavor, replace dairy products in a vegan recipe, or add a bit of buttery crunchiness. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (5.35 milligrams), 553 calories.
If love to eat crab legs, there’s good news, it’s relatively high in Zinc and can help you meet your daily needs in this area. Crab is also a good source of protein, and doesn’t weigh you down with a lot of calories. It’s very low in fat, but you’ll want to watch out for the sodium levels, which can run rather high, leading to water retention and an increase in blood pressure. Serving Size (100 grams), Zinc (2.8 milligrams), 84 calories.
Regardless of which mushrooms you go with, there will likely be a good amount of Zinc in them. Mushrooms are a great add-on to any meal, and they can flavor up a pizza or simply be cooked up and eaten as a side dish. They have a healthy assortment of vitamins and minerals, and several types of mushrooms have been shown to have anti-cancer benefits. Serving Size of Shiitake mushrooms (100 grams), Zinc (7.66 milligrams), 34 calories.
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