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The Skinny on Zinc

Zinc is one of those essential minerals that often flies under the radar, mostly because deficiencies of zinc are rare here in the U.S. It is, however, present in almost every cell of your body. It stimulates almost 100 enzymes, which are responsible for many biomechanical reactions in the body. This busy mineral supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing and helps maintain your sense of taste and smell.

The recommended daily intake of zinc is 9 milligrams for an adult woman, and it is always better to get your RDI in the form of whole foods. That being the case, here are some foods high in zinc include: oysters (6 oz = 75 mg), crab (3 oz = 7), beef (3 oz = 6), and beans (1/2 cup = 1.8 mg).

Zinc has been getting a lot attention lately for its ability to fight colds. Some studies indicate that it can decrease the length of a common cold, while others show no real benefits to using zinc lozenges. The debate continues, and it seems like the form of zinc you take matters. Look for zinc supplements that use zinc gluconate, since it seems to be the most effective form of the mineral. If you are fighting a cold with zinc, do be aware that the upper tolerance is 40 mg for adults and high doses of zinc can interfere with iron and copper absorption.


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