How much do you know about the role of zinc in body health?
Zinc is a metal that is stored in very small amounts in the body, but is vital to our health. This element plays a key role in the development of children and the immune system, and its deficiency can impair the sense of smell, taste and slow the healing of wounds. Zinc also plays a key role in improving many diseases and disabilities of the body, including colds and eye health.
Interestingly, our bodies need only a small amount of this element (11 mg for men and 8 mg for women) per day to meet their needs. However, many people suffer from chronic zinc deficiency. Among the most prominent symptoms of zinc deficiency are hair loss, insufficient growth, dry and irritated skin, and anorexia. Fortunately, the easiest way to get what your body needs is to use natural resources rich in this element in your diet. Here are some of the best sources to help you easily boost your immune system, have better skin and hair, and eat healthier foods.
1. Meat and poultry
Red meat, chicken and turkey are not only high in protein, they can also provide the zinc you need. To make better use of the nutrients in meat, it is best to use lean cuts of lean meat or peeled chicken. Just 85 grams of fried breast meat can provide 6% of your daily zinc needs. Of course, eggs also contain zinc, and each large egg provides about 4% of your needs; So it is a good idea to use more eggs in your diet, especially at breakfast. Of course, keep in mind that eggs are not a good source of all your body needs, and you should also be aware of their high calorie intake.
– A variety of legumes such as peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans can not only make food tastier but also provide the zinc needed by your body. Every fourth cup of lentils and peas contains 4% (0.6 mg) and beans contain 3% (0.5 mg) of your daily body needs. Low-calorie, low-fat beans are high in nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fiber, all of which can help your body and immune system function better.
Delicious and healthy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach and edible mushrooms are rich sources of nutrients along with other nutrients and vitamins. Each cup of mushrooms and kale contains 2% of your daily requirement, and adding these vegetables to your daily diet can provide the nutrients and zinc you need without increasing your calorie intake.
Read more: The importance of using food sources containing zinc
4. Nuts and seeds
– Nuts and seeds are another food rich in zinc, which ironically are very lovely snacks and eating them does not need encouragement. By adding 30 grams of pumpkin seed kernel to the salad, along with crispy and delicious food, you can provide about 15% of your daily zinc needs! A teaspoon of cashews or peanuts can provide 3% of your daily requirement.
5. Whole grains
Whole grains are also very healthy foods that are actually superfoods and are rich in a variety of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and zinc. Only half a cup of cooked barley contains 6% and the same amount of cooked whole grain rice contains 4% of what you need. Eating breads baked with whole wheat flours, along with providing the nutrients you need, can also provide some of the necessary zinc to your body.
6. Milk and dairy
Milk and dairy products, along with high amounts of calcium, are one of the most delicious and fragrant food sources of zinc. A glass of low-fat milk contains 7% of your body’s total zinc needs, and eating three glasses of milk a day alone will provide a quarter of your daily ration. A small bowl of low-fat yogurt has 15% of the daily requirement or 2.2 mg of zinc in it, and you can easily provide half of your needs by just including yogurt and milk in your diet. There are many delicious ideas for various smoothies and snacks with frozen yogurt and a variety of fruits and nuts that are just waiting for your curiosity and experimentation. Do not procrastinate!
7. Bitter chocolate
Bitter chocolate is one of those foods that is so rich in minerals and nutrients that you can find traces of it in every list and suggestion of health. Zinc is one of the many nutrients in chocolate, just keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more zinc it contains. 60 to 70 percent chocolates per 30 grams will provide about 5 percent of your daily needs. While in chocolates with 70% to 85%, this number reaches 6%. Of course, in order for zinc supply not to make you obese, you should limit eating chocolate to the same 30 grams per day to prevent excess calories and sugar from entering your body.
Compiled and edited by: Sanaz Motalebi Khameneh, nutritionist and dietitian
Source: Ideal Life Magazine