When it comes to boosting your immune system, your first thought may not be to cook a zinc-heavy meal, but it should be!
Zinc is a mighty mineral worth adding to your daily diet, especially if you feel a little under the weather.
Low on Zinc? Research Says That Can Be a Problem
Zinc activates protein-fed enzymes that target bacteria and viruses, according to a study by Oregon State University.
Furthermore, the John Hopkins University School of Public Health published a study showing:
“zinc-deficient persons experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens.” The study goes on to say, “Apoptosis [a form of programmed cell death] is potentiated by zinc deficiency.”
Can Zinc Help Combat Viral Infections?
According to a Cleveland Clinic Foundation study:
“No consistently effective therapy for the common cold has been well documented, but evidence suggests that several possible mechanisms may make zinc an effective treatment.”
The study also found when patients experiencing cold symptoms were given a lozenge with 13.3mg of zinc every 2 hours, they recovered twice as fast as patients given a placebo.
Up Your Zinc Intake with These Tasty Foods
Since the human body isn’t capable of producing or even storing zinc, it’s crucial that your daily diet contains enough of the mineral to stay healthy.
Luckily, there are plenty of tasty foods that contain zinc, such as:
- Meat (especially red meat such as beef)
- Shellfish is especially zinc-rich, with just 6 oysters providing 32mg
- Certain seeds, especially hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and squash
- Nuts, with cashews having the highest zinc count
- Milk and cheese, which are rich in bioavailable zinc that’s easily absorbed by the human body
- Eggs (1 large egg typically contains 5% of your recommended daily dietary allowance)
- Dark chocolate
A few honorable mentions include beans, potatoes, and whole grains.
But keep in mind that vegetables like potatoes and green beans contain very little zinc compared to animal-based sources.
Whole grains and legumes also contain phytates, a type of anti-nutrient that makes it more difficult for your body to absorb what little zinc is in these foods.
So if you are vegan, consider taking zinc supplements.
Get More Zinc An Boost Your Immune System!
Don’t make the mistake of robbing your body of one of the most important mineral nutrients it needs!
Next time you’re looking for a tasty, healthy snack, grab a handful of your favorite nuts, or indulge in a cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Because when it comes to staying healthy, you can’t underestimate the power of zinc!