Natural Health Tips

Nutrition Basics: Know Your Minerals: Zinc

The mineral zinc is found in the brain, thyroid, lever, kidneys and genital organs. It is essential for a healthy immune system and is responsible for wound healing, metabolism and enzyme regulation and the transfer of carbon dioxide from tissue to the lungs. Zinc is also necessary for the manufacture and regulation of insulin in the body. It helps to rid the body of harmful metals such as cadmium and lead and is important in the healthy development of sperm.

A deficiency of zinc in the diet can cause:

  • acne
  • poor
  • intestinal absorption
  • reduced taste sensation
  • limited growth

So what foods are high in zinc?

All seeds and nuts, especially pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Other zinc-rich foods include:

It must be mentioned that consistently high levels of zinc in the body can interfere with the absorption of copper, another essential mineral required for a healthy body. However, this is rarely seen through the consumption of zinc-rich foods alone but could be caused by excessive suplementation.