Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Micro-minerals : Zinc

Micro-minerals, like minerals, are organic elements present in the soil. Plants absorb them from their growth medium. We need even smaller amounts of each micro-mineral in our diet, but they are just as essential to maintain all nerve and muscle function, teeth, bones and body cells. Micro-minerals are insoluble in water and need to be bonded with a soluble compound before they can be properly utilised. That is why foods are the very best sources.

Functions of Zinc
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Essential for growthRequired for bone and teeth formation
  • Alleviates/reduces stress
  • Helps with fertility
  • Protects DNA
  • Necessary for healthy hair and nails

 Sources of Zinc:
  • Oysters, lobster, crab
  • Oats
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Meat
  • Dairy produce
  • Eggs
  • Ginger
  • Yeast

 Deficiency symptoms:
  • Slow wound healing
  • Lack of taste / smell
  • Sugar cravings
  • Dry skin
  • Poor appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Stretch marks
  • Night blindness

  People at risk of depleted zinc:
  • Diabetics
  • Alcoholics
  • People with HIV infection
  • Those on a protein restricted diet
  • Anyone with digestive problems effecting absorption
  • Anyone with liver disease

Supplements are unnecessary provided the diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. An excess of any mineral – or micro-mineral can have unpleasant side effects.



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