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Zinc is an essential mineral that can be found naturally in a variety of foods, and is known for enhancing cellular metabolism. It plays a crucial role in the catalytic activity of various enzymes and boosts immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis and cell division.
This mineral also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy. In fact, daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a proper sense of taste and smell. A deficiency of this essential mineral can hamper growth, cause loss of appetite and impair immune function.
Therefore, to stay healthy, you must include zinc in your diet. Without further ado, let’s present to you five food sources of zinc that you can incorporate into your meals:
Seeds such as flax, pumpkin and sesame contain high amounts of zinc (2 mg/13% of daily value), and are also rich in iron, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, they can also help you fight high cholesterol and protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolic processes. Add them to your favourite salads, soups and yoghurt to make them a part of your diet.
Eggs are a low-calorie and protein-rich food source that offers 5 percent of the daily value of zinc. It also contains all nine essential amino acids needed by the body for optimum growth and maintenance. In addition, eggs help to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known commonly as “good cholesterol”. Higher levels of HDL can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
This breakfast whole grain zinc has proven to be a reasonable source of zinc, since one cup of raw oats contains about 27% (2.95 mg) of the daily value of zinc. Oats are also rich in fibre, and help you stay full for a longer duration of time, thereby helping in effective weight management and regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
A 100 grams bar of 70–85% dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg of zinc or 30 percent of the daily value of zinc. It is also loaded with antioxidants (15 mmol per 100 grams), and supports in lowering inflammation, “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This nutritious and delicious treat is also helpful, when it comes to minimising risk factors for heart disease.
One cup of this wondrous dairy product provides about 20-22 percent (2.2-2.38 mg) of the daily value of zinc. Yoghurt is also loaded with essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins B2 and B12, potassium, and magnesium. It is light on the stomach, and easier to digest than milk, which helps in achieving enhanced immunity, bone strength and healthy skin.
So ladies, regular intake of these zinc-rich foods will boost immunity and keep infections and diseases at bay.