(Natural News) We are always on the lookout for the best nutrient to help us get into tip-top shape. As society becomes increasingly health-conscious, more and more people are looking into various ways to combat the daily grind. While there are many nutrients out there, only a select few all-star nutrients can ultimately aid in maintaining optimal health. One of these nutrients is zinc.
Zinc is an essential trace element proven to have various health benefits when taken moderately or regularly. However, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, 20 percent of the population is at risk of overt zinc deficiency. Insufficient intake of zinc was found to be prevalent among one out of two people.
On a study by Kenneth H. Brown, adequate zinc nutrition is revealed as essential for neurobehavioral development, growth, and immunocompetence. Meanwhile, the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group observed that sufficient zinc intake helps in reducing the occurrence of premature delivery in pregnant women and acute lower respiratory infections; lowering all-cause mortality; decreasing morbidity from childhood diarrhea; and increasing linear growth and weight gain among infants and young children.
So, just how important is zinc? It is known to be involved in more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body. Researchers believed that 3,000 out of 100,000 proteins in the body have this vital mineral and is mostly found in muscle, retina, liver, kidneys, and bones. (Related: Zinc plays key role in supporting key biological processes.)
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Why take zinc?
Here are 10 reasons why increasing zinc intake is good for the body:
- It enhances the metabolism.
- It supports the production of testosterone.
- It helps maintain good levels of blood sugar.
- It improves insulin function.
- It helps balance acid levels in the stomach.
- It increases the chances of getting pregnant.
- It helps solve acne problems.
- It uplifts the mood.
- It supports growth in kids.
- It helps heal wounds faster.
The following are other benefits of zinc in the body:
- It helps in the prevention of prostate disorder. Studies show that taking zinc daily reduces tumor growth in the prostate.
- It aids in improving cognitive function. Zinc paired up with vitamin B6 ensures the proper function of neurotransmitters.
- It reduces the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines which helps in decreasing the severity and duration of common colds and flu.
- It plays a leading role in weight loss for obese individuals. Zinc helps in manipulating the ghrelin hormone, suppressing a person’s appetite.
- It boosts immunity and energy levels, therefore relieving chronic fatigue.
As recommended by the USDA, the dietary reference intake for zinc are based on age and gender:
- For infants, the daily recommended intake is around 2-3 mg/day (milligrams per day).
- For children aged between one to 13 years old, the daily recommended dose is 3-8 mg/day.
- For adults aged 14 and over, the daily recommended intake is at 8 to 11 mg/day.
Aside from supplementation, zinc can also be sourced from various foods, such as those which are high in protein. Other foods that can help increase zinc levels include oysters, lamb, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), salmon, mushroom, eggs, pumpkin seeds, and cocoa powder. With the right dose of multivitamins including zinc, coupled with proper diet and exercise, you can achieve optimal health in no time!
Head over to Nutrients.news today and familiarize yourself with the other essential nutrients your body needs.