Zinc is a mineral that plays a role in more than three hundred enzyme reactions in your body. It is also involved in many processes that are essential in your body. Hence, it is vital to good health.
Currently, zinc deficiency has become a significant issue in the world due to the low consumption of foods that are rich in the mineral. The people that are highly at risk to suffer from this deficiency include infants, pregnant and lactating women, adolescents, and children. Vegans, vegetarians, alcoholics, and endurance athletes also fall under the same category.
Thus, these groups of people have an increased zinc requirement. Since your body does not store the mineral, you are required to eat significantly with the aim of meeting your daily zinc intake requirements. The recommendations vary according to gender and other specific conditions.
For instance, men and pregnant women should consume eleven milligrams, women eight milligrams, and breastfeeding mothers require twelve milligrams of the mineral every day. This consumption will help in metabolizing nutrients, growing and repairing body tissues as well as maintaining the immune system.
Here are the ten foods that you should incorporate into your diet to combat zinc deficiency.
You probably eat a lot of fruits and vegetables every day. However, vegetables, as well as fruits, are generally a poor source of zinc. Regardless, some vegetables will provide you with very reasonable amounts of the mineral that is sufficient enough to sustain your daily needs.
If you are a vegetarian especially, these are the vegetables that you should consider having in your diet. They include regular and sweet potatoes, kale, mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, spinach, and green beans.
In every large potato is one gram of the mineral which makes up nine percent of the daily requirement for a man. The rest of the vegetables contain a lesser amount of the mineral. The green beans, mushrooms, kale, and raw vegetables contain three percent of the daily recommended intake for a man.
Therefore, by eating a diet that is rich in vegetables, you will be alleviating your deficiency. Additionally, vegetables help in combating the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
2. Dark Chocolate
This is an exciting choice of food that you can use to get rid of your Zinc deficiency. Dark chocolate is a source of the mineral.
In every one hundred gram of the chocolate bar, you will receive about thirty percent of the amount that is recommended for a man’s daily intake of the mineral. This is true for chocolates that are between seventy and eighty-five percent dark.
Thus, the darker your choice of chocolate the better it will be for you. However, remember that while dark chocolate is right for your health, it also contains a lot of calories. One hundred grams of the dark chocolate is said to provide up to six hundred calories.
Hence, this is not a food that you should use as your primary source of mineral for your deficiency. Eat it in moderation.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains consist of rice, wheat, oats, and quinoa. All these contain some amount of the mineral. These grains provide many benefits to the body.
Apart from the mineral, they are also filled with vitamins, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and fiber. In every cooked half a cup of steel-cut oats, you will be consuming six percent of the daily amount of the mineral needed.
The same portion of brown rice contains four percent of the mineral while a slice of whole wheat bread contains three percent of the mineral needed every day. Besides, consuming whole grains is also associated with longevity as well as other health benefits.
These health benefits include a reduction of type two diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. However, whole grains also contain phytates. Phytates bind the mineral which reduces its absorption in the body. Hence, you might not absorb as much of the mineral as you would with other foods.
4. Meat and Poultry
Meat is a perfect solution for taking care of your deficiency. Red meat especially is an excellent source of the mineral. You can also find significant amounts of the mineral in chicken, pork, and lamb.
In every one hundred gram of raw ground beef that you consume, you will intake 4.8 milligrams of the mineral. This is forty-three percent of the required daily consumption of the mineral for men. The same amount of beef will also provide you with twenty grams of protein, ten grams of fats, and one hundred and seventy-six grams of calories.
Other essential nutrients found in beef include creatine, iron and vitamin B. In every three ounces of chicken breasts you will get six percent of the daily recommended amount of the mineral.
Also, remember to select lean meats that have visible fats removed and skinless poultry. Such meats will give you the most nutrition.
However, remember that eating significant amounts of red meat can increase heart diseases and other forms of cancer. This is especially true with processed meat.
Different types of legumes such as beans, lentils, hummus, edamame, and chickpeas contain sufficient amounts of zinc. In one hundred grams of cooked lentils, you will consume twelve percent of the daily intake recommended.
And, a quarter cup of hummus, you will consume seven percent of the daily intake. Additionally, each pack of lentils and chickpeas, you eat contains four percent of the daily intake. There is three percent of the recommended daily intake in both beans and edamame.
Moreover, legumes have low calories, low fat, high protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. However, legumes contain phytates as well. Thus the absorption of the mineral is not as effective as in animal products.
Regardless, they are a good source of the mineral for vegans and vegetarians.
6. Milk and Dairy Products
Dairy foods have many nutrients. Milk and cheese are two of the products that are effective in combating zinc deficiency. This is because they contain a large amount of the bioavailable mineral and most of them can be absorbed in the body.
For instance, in every one hundred grams of cheddar cheese, you will consume twenty-eight percent of the recommended daily mineral intake, and in every single cup of full-fat milk, you will consume nine percent of the daily recommendation.
Also, dairy products and milk will give you nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, and protein that are good for your bone health.
This is not just a portion of food that will give you significant amounts of the mineral; it is also low in calories. Oysters especially have sufficient quantities of the mineral. Six oysters of medium sizes have thirty-two milligrams of the mineral.
This amounts to two hundred and ninety percent of the daily recommendations for a man. The other types of shellfish contain fewer amounts of the mineral, but they are still useful sources.
For instance, the Alaskan crab has slightly greater than seven milligrams of the mineral in every one hundred grams. This amounts to sixty-seven percent of the recommended daily intake.
Other types of shellfish such as mussels and shrimp contain fourteen percent of the recommended daily intake for a man in each one hundred grams. Hence, they are also good sources for the mineral.
However, if you are pregnant, you run the risk of food poisoning. Thus, ensure that you cook your shellfish entirely.