What is Zinc?

What is Zinc?

Zinc | is an essential mineral required in small amounts. It is found within cells of the human body and is vital to the formation of DNA and protein synthesis. Zinc is an especially important nutrient for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use all the way up to childhood because it is crucial for development and the proper growth of babies and children. Additionally, zinc is equally as important to immune function, as it is needed to activate lymphocytes which are critical to the immune system response and therefore help increase the body's defenses against bacteria and viruses. Research on zinc and the immune system has been conducted over decades, and many findings conclude that adequate zinc intake can reduce both the severity and length of the common cold through proper supplementation. Zinc reduces these symptoms by lowering inflammation and suppressing rhinovirus binding and replication in the nasal mucosa. Those who are deficient in zinc have an increased susceptibility to these harmful pathogens.

 Something lesser known about zinc is that it is needed for proper taste and smell. If you have lost either or both of these senses due to a cold or flu, be sure to increase your zinc intake not only to improve your immunity but also to help you get back to enjoying good food and pleasant smells, sooner!

  • Meat and shellfish
  • Legumes and whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs and dairy products
  • Dark chocolate (yay!)

See more foods that are high in Zinc here!

Zinc cannot be stored in the body and is required daily for proper function, hence why it is so important to make sure you’re getting enough each and every day.

 

The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) is one of the best resources for nutrient dosing. Zinc intake is dependent on sex, age, pregnancy, and lactation. Here are the appropriate dosages based on these factors:

Age

Male

Female

Pregnant

Lactating

0 to 6 months

2 mg

2 mg

 

 

7 to 12 months

3 mg

3 mg

 

 

1 to 3 years

3 mg

3 mg

 

 

4 to 8 years

5 mg

5 mg

 

 

9 to 13 years

8 mg

8 mg

 

 

14 to 18 years

11 mg

9 mg

12 mg

13 mg

19+ years

11 mg

8 mg

11 mg

12 mg

 

Although zinc can be found in a number of foods, many people have dietary restrictions which can prevent them from getting a sufficient amount. Others struggle with poor digestion that can also result in lack of absorption from foods alone. Dietary supplements can be a great addition to eating a healthy, whole food diet to ensure you are getting enough of this essential nutrient. 

Herbaland offers a variety of easy to take supplements that include zinc as a vital ingredient to help make sure you meet your daily requirements for improved health and immunity.

It’s important to be aware that zinc supplements should be taken away from other supplements and with a protein-rich meal so it can be more readily absorbed in the body!

Now that you know the importance of taking your zinc supplement, which tasty Herbaland gummy are you going to choose?

Author: Kali Pappas, Nutritionist

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