Zinc a member of the metal group, but it is a vital nutrient in both plants and animals. As an essential mineral, it’s necessary for human health. And the benefits of Zinc are astonishing. It is found naturally in many types of foods and is also in certain supplements and multivitamins.
Naturally occurring in the earth’s crust, Zinc for industrial use is mined and has been in use by workman and artisans since at least 1000 BC. Most commonly used for galvanizing other metals such as steel and iron. Galvanizing is when these other metals are coated with a thin coating of zinc in order to prevent them from corroding or rusting. More than one-third of the zinc consumed in North America for industrial use is produced from recycled materials.
Zinc as a supplement provides a multitude of health benefits. Zinc deficiency is the cause of multiple health issues, and children and the elderly are especially at risk. Fortunately, it’s easy to up your zinc intake if you need to by adding certain items to your diet, like eggs and nuts, as well as in the form of supplements. And Zinc also helps many bodily functions perform their best.
Here are ten of the best benefits of Zinc:
1. Wound Healing
Zinc plays a vital role in the stimulation of white blood cells, which are one of the body’s natural defense systems against infection. Zinc also stimulates new cell growth, which leads to faster recovery from wounds.
2. Maintains Vision
Zinc is found throughout the body but high concentrations of it are in the eyes. Zinc is important for healthy vision and a deficiency can lead to problems with the retina.
3. Has Anti-Viral Properties
In the last few years, it has become popular to take a zinc lozenge at the first sign of the common cold. This is because studies show that zinc can actually shorten the length of the illness. Scientists still aren’t quite sure how it works, but it does appear to be anti-viral to some extent.
4. Helps With Learning and Memory
Just like there are high concentrations of zinc in the eyes, there are also high concentrations present in the brain. Zinc strengthens synapses in the brain, which in turn can strengthen brain function and memory.
5. Boosts Fertility
Zinc boosts fertility in both men and women. It plays a key role in the production of hormones, and zinc deficiency is often the cause of male reproductive problems.
6. Healthy Skin
Zinc plays an important role in cell production. That means it’s a vital asset for turning older skin into healthy new skin. In fact, eczema and acne are both often treated with zinc.
7. Maintains Heart Health
Zinc helps to regulate blood pressure and lowers inflammation. In fact, blood vessels rely on zinc to work properly.
8. Keeps Diarrhea at Bay
One of the top causes of diarrhea and other digestive issues is a zinc deficiency. Zinc is important for nutrient absorption, and any problems with that quickly turn into digestive problems.
9. Fights Diabetes
Most hormones require some amounts of zinc to work properly. Insulin is the hormone involved in regulating blood sugar, and adequate zinc intake helps ensure that insulin is doing its job.
10. Fights Chronic Fatigue
Zinc is involved in breaking down nutrients from foods and converting them into energy. A diet rich in zinc will lead to a healthier digestive system and better metabolism, which in turn leads to more energy. Zinc also helps with muscle function, meaning you can work and exercise longer without getting as tired.
Clearly, zinc is crucial for good health in a variety of areas. Fortunately, it’s normally easy to get plenty of it in your diet. Zinc is in several high-protein foods, such as meat, nuts, and eggs. It’s also in yogurt and oatmeal.
The recommended daily value of zinc for adults is 15mg. You can keep track of how much you intake by reading the nutrition labels on food. In the event that you’re not getting enough, talk to your doctor about supplementation. Zinc supplements are easy to find at your local natural markets, like Sprouts or Whole Foods.