Why You Need Zinc in Your Diet
Did you know that second to iron, zinc is the most abundant trace mineral in our body? It helps over 300 different enzymes needed for digestion, metabolism, heart, muscle and nerve function and is essential for optimal athletic performance 🏋🏽♂️🏃♀️🏂 We can't make it so we have to get it through our diet and eating a balanced diet rich in zinc foods is the best way to make sure you're getting enough!
* Cell turnover and metabolism
* Tissue repair and wound healing
* Testosterone production for muscle growth in men and women
*Inflammation and free-radicals to optimize exercise performance and recovery
* Collagen formation for cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone
* Heart function and circulation which affects VO2 max
* Helps manage healthy cholesterol levels
* Supports immune function, reducing illness and downtime
A Zinc DEFICIENCY can lead to:
- Fatigue and low energy
- Decreased endurance
- Slow wound and bone fracture healing
- Slower tendon, ligament and muscle repair post-exercise
- Low bone mineral density and osteoporosis
- Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite
- Hair loss, white spots on nails, skin rashes
How does a zinc deficiency happen?
- Athletes are at a greater risk for deficiency because zinc is lost in sweat.
- A diet that is low in a variety of zinc-rich foods.
- A diet low in animal products because many zinc-rich foods in animal products.
- Vegan/vegetarian diets high in legumes and whole grains can have high levels of phytates which bind and interfere with zinc absorption.
Eat a balanced diet with these whole foods to get the recommended amount:
* Oysters, crab, shrimp, lobster, salmon, sardines
* Beef, pork, dark meat poultry
* Milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs
* Fortified cereal, oats, rice
* Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts
* Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, chia and flax seeds
* Cashews, pecans, almonds, brazil and pine nuts
* Please check with your healthcare provider if you think you might be deficient in zinc. Taking zinc supplements when not needed can offset other minerals, interfere with medication, lead to digestive issues, reduce HDL cholesterol, and impair immune function, leading to more health issues. In the meantime, focus on eating a balanced, whole foods diet that includes zinc-rich foods.