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Are You Getting Enough Zinc?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Zinc is an essential mineral found throughout your body’s organs, tissues and fluids, and to be healthy, you must intake zinc daily through the foods you eat or a supplement
  • Zinc supports critical processes within your body such as blood clotting, cell division, immune function, thyroid health, smell, taste, vision and wound healing
  • Zinc deficiency lowers your body’s ability to repair genetic damage caused by oxidative stress. If your diet is rich in zinc and other antioxidants, your body will be able to efficiently combat free radicals
  • Good dietary sources of zinc include dairy products, nuts, red meat and seafood; plant sources like beans, green peas and spinach also contain zinc, but it is more easily absorbed from animal proteins
  • Alcoholics, vegetarians, pregnant or lactating women, and those with digestive disorders or sickle cell disease are at higher risk of zinc deficiency

While you may think about it mainly during cold and flu season, zinc is an essential mineral found throughout your organs, tissues and bodily fluids. Moreover, after iron, zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in your body. Because zinc plays a vital role in many biological processes, you may be surprised to learn that your body does not store zinc. Instead, it has to be consumed daily, either through the foods you eat or a high-quality supplement.

Zinc supports critical processes within your body such as blood clotting, cell division, immune function, thyroid health, smell, taste, vision and wound healing. Good dietary sources of zinc include dairy products, nuts, red meat and seafood. Although plant sources such as asparagus, beans, green peas and spinach contain zinc, it is more easily absorbed from meat and animal proteins.


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