Zinc is an essential mineral that significantly contributes to our bodily functions, such as cell growth, tissue healing, and immune system support. Despite needing only small quantities, it can impact the senses of taste and smell and is crucial during times of rapid cell growth like adolescence, pregnancy, or wound healing. However, an estimated 15% of the U.S. population suffers from zinc deficiency, and certain individuals may need to supplement their diet with it, subject to medical advice.
- Zinc, a crucial mineral, supports various vital bodily functions such as cell growth, tissue healing, immune system enhancement, and even influencing the senses of taste and smell.
- According to Mayo Clinic, an average man needs about 11 milligrams of zinc daily. This requirement can increase during periods of rapid cell growth, such as adolescence, pregnancy, or wound healing.
- High zinc sources include shellfish like oysters, crab, shrimp, and sardines, meats like beef, pork, and turkey, and other foods like fortified breakfast cereals, oats, pumpkin seeds, cheese, and lentils.
- Symptoms of zinc deficiency may include loss of taste or smell, poor appetite, depressed mood, delayed wound healing, hair loss, and diarrhea. Zinc deficiency is more common among vegetarians, vegans, or people with certain medical conditions.
- While zinc supplements can aid those with deficiencies or certain health risks, overconsumption can cause health issues like vomiting, poor appetite, stomach pain, headaches, and diarrhea. Zinc can also interfere with the body’s absorption of other essential minerals such as copper and iron. Therefore, any supplementation should be carried out under medical supervision.