(NaturalNews) Zinc is a naturally-occurring mineral necessary for human survival. There are ample raw, plant-based dietary sources of zinc that can help ensure one consumes enough zinc to fuel essential bodily processes.
Zinc is necessary for human life and health. It plays important biological roles by assisting with cell division, assisting with sexual maturation, and ensuring that the body produces the enzymes it needs in order to function. Zinc also has antioxidant properties which help prevent effects of aging and promote speedy healing. Zinc may also help alleviate cold symptoms. Men can ensure good prostate health by being sure to consume the recommended daily allowance of zinc. Zinc supports proper eye function and may improve vision.
Minerals are best absorbed as part of one's diet, rather than via a supplement. While meat and dairy products contain high concentrations of zinc, there are numerous raw and plant-based dietary sources of zinc. Zinc content depends on the levels of the mineral present in the soil where foods are grown. Raw organic seeds and seed butters, including pumpkin, chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, and poppy, help to supply the body with the essential zinc that it needs. Pumpkin seeds in particular have one of the highest concentrations of zinc in plant-based foods. Organic, raw fresh rolled oats also provide a good source of dietary zinc. Organic, raw nuts, such as cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts, also contain significant amounts of zinc.
Most fresh fruits contain zinc, with avocados, raspberries, apricots, blackberries, dates, longan berries, and pomegranates providing especially good sources of the mineral. Organic dried fruits, such as dried peaches, plums, currants, bananas, and figs are also a good source of zinc. Many vegetables also contain zinc. Asparagus, brussels sprouts, peas, pumpkin, and chard are all good sources of dietary zinc.
Superfoods such as spirulina, maca, raw cocoa powder, and bee pollen are also good sources of zinc.
Adequate levels of zinc ensure normal immune function. Zinc deficiency has diverse and significant health impacts and should be avoided. The recommended daily allowance of zinc is eleven milligrams per day for men, and eight for women. Pregnant and lactating women should consume eleven milligrams of zinc daily. The body does not absorb all of the zinc consumed in food, so it is especially important to consume enough zinc to ensure good health.
To ensure that one is eating enough zinc, try eating a bowl of raw, organic oatmeal with dried figs and fresh berries, raw crackers with pumpkin seed butter, raw tahini and carrots, or a glass of nut milk.
Alex Malinsky aka RawGuru is an award winning chef and one of the leading experts in the field of raw food. He started to learn about raw foods at the early at of 15. After 10 years on the raw food diet he continues to be on the cutting edge of nutritional research and product development. Visit Alex's website at: www.RawGuru.com for more information.