Zinc is a trace element required to build a strong immune system. Being deficient of this chemical may weaken your immunity, making you susceptible to diseases. For your information, zinc affects the work of over 100 enzymes in the body. You just need to take around 8mg of this substance to meet the daily recommendation.
Roles of zinc
Zinc serves many functions in the body. The first one is it directly affects the immune system by activating T Lymphocytes or T Cells. These cells protect the body by controlling immune responses. They also contribute to the destruction of foreign cells like cancer which tend to grow very rapidly. These cells help attack some, so they can be more controlled before there is medical intervention is undertaken.
Zinc is also paramount for improving memory. According to one study, sufficient zinc intake was required to maintain healthy communication between neurons, which in turn affects how memories were processed in the brain. Another health benefit this chemical has to offer is wound-healing. People who have a problem healing wounds are often diagnosed with zinc deficiency. In fact, skin problems can be treated using cream enriched with this chemical.
Zinc intake for vegetarians
Zinc is contained in various plant foods. The real problem is it may not be absorbed efficiently by the body. For those having a vegetarian lifestyle, it could be a struggle to meet the daily allowance for zinc although there are many sources to choose from. For instance, this trace element couldn’t be absorbed properly when taken with grains. The same goes when a diet consists of a large amount of legumes.
But don’t worry, to enhance the absorption, you just need to set a long interval between foods rich in zinc and other meals. There should be at least a 3 hour window before or after eating these foods. Or if you need zinc that’s readily available, supplements are the way to go. Zinc that’s processed this way can usually be absorbed better. Another way to increase absorption is by taking it at night. Your stomach is already empty at this point, so anything that goes through the digestive system will be absorbed more thoroughly.
Sources of zinc
There are plenty of choices, both animal and plant-based. While some veggies contain zinc, they are not on par with that in animal sources, but they are still good, nonetheless. As long as you put different foods on the menu, you won’t have trouble meeting the daily recommendation. In addition to pumpkin seeds, other choices include soybeans, green beans, kidney beans, mushrooms, and spinach.
Some fruits also have this chemical although not in overly high amounts. Pomegranates are one of the examples. They are also rich in antioxidant, so the zinc content is just an added bonus. This fruit has many other powerful compounds to boost our health. Some types of berries also make good sources of zinc. Raspberries and blackberries are some of them.
For those who aren’t vegans, the choices are quite diverse. You can eat more dairy products. They are known for providing good amounts of zinc. All dairy from cheese to yogurt have this component ready. Just stock up on these foods, zinc deficiency will never be an issue.