You know about zinc, but do you know how important it is for your health? If not, you could be experiencing zinc deficiency symptoms while blaming them on family stress, lack of sleep, or a tough day at the office.
According to a new study in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, zinc is one of the most important essential trace metals in human nutrition and lifestyle – yet, almost half of the world’s population is at risk for inadequate zinc intake. We tend to overlook it because of how little our body actually contains (only about two to three grams), but because of how vital it is to our bod, even the mildest shortage can lead to zinc deficiency symptoms.
Here are a few hints your body might be giving you to stock up:
1. It takes forever to combat a cold
If the colds you experience seem to hang on for dear life, it could be a sign that you’re running low on zinc. An increase in zinc has been proven to help fight infection, not to mention reduce the duration and severity of a common cold.
2. Your skin has become dry and rough
This is one of those zinc deficiency symptoms that’s easy to blame on other things, such as cold weather and dehydration. Zinc accelerates the renewal of your skin cells, and may have a positive impact on acne, rashes, cuts, psoriasis and other pesky skin issues. It’s also used as an anti-inflammatory agent to help sooth sunburns and unfortunate run-ins with poison ivy.
3. You never have an appetite
People who are lacking in the zinc department tend to have digestive issues – especially when it comes to digesting protein (it basically feels like your body’s attempting to digest a brick). Without an adequate amount of zinc in your system, your body won’t be able to digest food and absorb nutrients properly.
4. Your body hurts… like, everywhere
If your bod’s not bouncing back after your workouts the way it used to, or if bruises are hanging around way longer than they should, a zinc shortage could be to blame. Slow wound healing is one of the most important zinc deficiency symptoms to look out for, since 90 percent of the zinc in our body can be found in our muscles and bones.
5. Your sense of taste and smell is off
Zinc activates areas of the brain that receive and process information being sent from your taste and smell sensors. It’s crucial for fully functioning taste reception, so if your food’s not tasting as delish as it used to, it may be time to stock up on zinc.
From the Organic Authority Files
How to Score More Zinc
Incorporate more zinc-friendly foods into your diet. High-protein foods like beef, pork and lamb contain more zinc than fish – though fish and seafood rock in the zinc department too. Other ah-mazing sources of zinc are poultry, dairy products, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds (particularly pumpkin seeds).
It’s best not to start taking zinc supplements until you’ve confirmed with your physician that you have a legitimate zinc deficiency.
Have you been experiencing these zinc deficiency symptoms?
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Image: James Palinsad