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Zinc Benefits for Health. Top Food Sources for this Essential Mineral.

Are you getting enough zinc in your diet? This essential mineral plays a crucial role in many aspects of human health, including immune system function, wound healing, brain function, and healthy growth and development. Yet despite its importance, many people don’t get enough zinc in their diets. In this article, we’ll explore the top health benefits of zinc and provide tips on the best food sources to incorporate into your diet. So let’s dive into why zinc is so essential for your health.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is essential for human health. It is a trace mineral that is found in many foods, such as meat, seafood, nuts, and legumes. Zinc plays a crucial role in many physiological processes in the body, including DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and cell division. [1] 

Why is zinc so important for human health? Zinc helps to activate immune cells and promotes the production of antibodies, which are crucial for fighting off infections and illnesses. Additionally, zinc is involved in wound healing, as it helps to promote the growth and repair of tissues.[2]

In short, zinc is an essential mineral that is crucial for many aspects of human health. In the next section, we’ll explore the top health benefits of zinc in more detail.

 

 6 benefits of Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that is involved in many physiological processes in the body. Here are some of the top health benefits of zinc:

 

Supporting immune system functions

Zinc is a key nutrient for immune system functions, as it helps to activate immune cells and promotes the production of antibodies. This makes it a crucial nutrient for preventing and fighting off infections and illnesses.

💡Seven studies have found that 80-92 mg of zinc per day can reduce the length of the common cold by as much as 33% and, more importantly, zinc supplements can significantly reduce the risk of infection and promote immune responses in the elderly[3] [4].

 

Promoting wound healing

Zinc is also involved in the process of wound healing. It helps to promote the growth and repair of tissues, which can speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infection.[5]

💡 In a 12-week study of 60 patients with diabetic foot ulcers, there was a significant reduction in ulcer size in patients treated with 200 mg of zinc per day compared to the placebo group.[6]

 

Lowering the risk of age-related diseases

Zinc can significantly reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as pneumonia infections and age-related macular degeneration. [7] [8]  

 

Helps treat acne

Zinc can help to reduce inflammation and regulate oil production in the skin, making it a helpful nutrient for treating acne.

💡 Acne patients tend to have low zinc levels. Studies have found that both topical and oral zinc treatments are effective in treating acne by reducing inflammation inhibiting bacterial growth and suppressing sebaceous gland activity. [9]

 

Reducing inflammation

Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation and is the cause of a range of chronic diseases. Zinc decreases oxidative stress and reduces levels of some inflammatory proteins in the body, reducing chronic inflammation in the body.[10]

 

Improving sexual health

Testosterone is an important hormone in the human body that affects sexual desire and boosts immunity and other health benefits. Zinc can help testosterone levels in men, which can significantly help improve sexual desire.[11]

Read more: 8 Benefits of Maca Root | Side Effects, Dosage & Safety

 

Food Sources of Zinc

Zinc is found in a variety of different foods, making it easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are some of the top food sources of zinc:

  1. Meat and poultry
  2. Seafood
  3. Legumes
  4. Nuts and seeds
  5. Dairy products: Dairy products, such as cheese and milk, are also a good source of zinc.

Incorporating these zinc-rich foods into your diet is an important way to ensure that you are getting enough of this essential mineral. 

However, it’s important to note that certain factors can affect zinc absorption, such as phytates (found in grains and legumes) and calcium (found in dairy products). 

 

Zinc Supplements

Recommended daily intake of zinc varies depending on age, sex, and other factors. The daily recommended intake: 

  • 8-11 mg for women 
  • 11-15 mg for men 
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women may need more zinc.

Taking too much zinc can be harmful and may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. High doses of zinc can also interfere with the absorption of other essential minerals, such as copper and iron. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements to determine if they are appropriate for you.

 

Conclusion

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. Getting enough zinc in your diet is important for maintaining optimal health. Incorporating zinc-rich foods like meat, seafood, legumes, nuts, and dairy products can help you meet your daily health needs.

 

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