There are many minerals that our body needs and one of them is zinc. It is actually a trace mineral that the body needs to function better. On average, the mineral is found about two to three grams in the body, which is in the bones and the muscle tissues. Zinc stimulates the activity of at least 100 enzymes in the body. This mineral has many uses, including:

  • As support for the immune system
  • For synthesizing DNA
  • For faster healing of wounds
  • Essential for body development
  • Necessary for healthy growth

Zinc is important no matter how old you are. You don’t need huge amounts of zinc for it to provide support for the body and its functions. The amount of zinc you need will depend on your gender, age, and other factors, such as if you have an illness or you are pregnant. Here is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc:

  • Zero to six months: Two mg/day
  • Seven to 12 months: Three mg/day
  • One to three years: Three mg/day
  • Four to eight years: Five mg/day
  • Nine to 13 years: Eight mg/day
  • 14 and up (Males): 11 mg/day
  • 14 to 18 years (Females): Nine mg/day
  • 19 and up (Females) Eight mg/day
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The good news is you can get ample amounts of the mineral in the regular foods we eat every day. The highest in zinc for every serving is oysters. You can also get zinc from:

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fortified cereals
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Dairy products
  • Seafood
The good news is you can get ample amounts of the mineral in the regular foods we eat every day / PicHelp

The body absorbs zinc better if it is from food that is high in animal protein compared to those with plant protein. Additionally, there’s an element known as phytate (found in cereals, legumes, breads, and whole grains) that decrease the absorption of the mineral.

Zinc Deficiency

Deficiency of the mineral is rare, but not uncommon. Generally, it happens not because there is inadequate intake, but because zinc is poorly absorbed by the body. For other people, the need for zinc increases, which causes the deficiency characterized by the following:

  • Growth retardation
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Lesions around the eye and the skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Deferred sexual maturation
  • Impotence
  • White spots found on the nails
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It is difficult to know whether you are zinc deficient or not because the symptoms mentioned above are often associated with other medical conditions. To know if you have a deficiency, the best way is to consult your doctor, especially if you’re suffering from two or more of the symptoms above.

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