Nutrition

Stock up on zinc to better deal with winter viruses: how much? Where to find it?

Zinc could be the new winter cold fighter. Many studies have shown that taking a zinc supplement can help shorten the duration of the common cold, but it also plays an important role in promoting healthy growth.

What is zinc, and why do I need it?

Zinc is considered a trace mineral, which means your body only needs a small amount to function properly. It is nonetheless important because of the role it plays in maintaining your health. Zinc heals wounds and keeps your immune system working and ready to fight off threatening bacteria and viruses. An over-the-counter zinc supplement can help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, as long as you take it within 24 hours of the first sign of illness.

Zinc also helps the body make proteins and DNA. Zinc is essential during pregnancy, infancy, and childhood because it supports proper growth and development at each of these life stages. Some studies suggest that zinc may help slow the progression of macular degeneration when combined with other vitamins and antioxidants.?

How much zinc does my body really need?

Zinc cannot be stored in the body. You must therefore obtain your daily dose through food or a supplement. It doesn’t take much to fill his daily quota. You can easily reach your quota with a varied diet.

Here are the daily zinc requirements according to gender and age:

0-6 months: 2 milligrams (mg)
7-12 months: 3mg
1-3 years: 3mg
4-8 years: 5mg
9-13 years: 8mg
14-18 years (boys): 11 mg
14-18 years (girls): 9 mg
Adult men: 11 mg
Adult women: 8 mg
Pregnant women: 11mg
Or breastfeeding: 12 mg

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What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?

A zinc deficiency can occur if you do not absorb enough zinc, if the body does not absorb this nutrient well, or if the mineral is lost through the gastrointestinal system.

Symptoms of a zinc deficiency are:

– Growth disorders
– Delayed puberty
– erectile dysfunction
– Diarrhea
– Hair loss
– Swollen tongue
– Deformed or discolored nails
– Decreased immunity

Zinc deficiency is not common in Europe although certain groups of people are at greater risk, including:

– People with gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as zinc can be lost from the gastrointestinal tract.

– people with sickle cell disease, as they may need more zinc

– vegetarians, as they do not consume zinc-rich meat and seafood (beans and fortified cereals are two dietary sources of zinc they should consume)

– pregnant women, because the growing baby needs more zinc

– Alcoholics, because they have a reduced ability to absorb this nutrient and an increased likelihood of flushing it out when they go to the bathroom.

Zinc-rich foods

Zinc is present in many foods, including meat: red meat, turkey, lamb and chicken, seafood (oysters and crab), baked beans. This can put vegetarians in a sticky situation, but all legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, and beans, are good sources of zinc. You can also add blueberries, nuts and whole grains to the list of non-meat sources of zinc.

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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