Zinc is an essential mineral (trace element) that occurs naturally in certain foods and is artificially added to others. This mineral is involved in numerous aspects of cell metabolism. It is used as a catalyst for the activity of around 100 enzymes and plays a role in protein synthesis, immune function, DNA production, control of blood sugar levels and cell division.
In addition, zinc is needed to maintain good eyesight and it can play a role in preventing viruses from attacking the body. It appears to reduce symptoms of the rhinovirus (cold), but scientists are still unable to explain the exact mechanism. There is also evidence that zinc has antiviral properties against the herpes virus.
Some diseases and conditions are closely related to low zinc levels – depression, type 2 diabetes, infertility, and even HIV.
In the fitness world, zinc is known as a mineral that can aid muscle growth. It affects practically all growth phases. There are some important benefits of zinc-rich foods for bodybuilders and fitness athletes. The first is the ability of Zinc to increase testosterone levels. (which can lead to increased muscle mass).
Then there is the help zinc provides for better sleep. And one of the most important, as mentioned earlier, is the use of zinc in protein synthesis.
If you don’t eat enough foods rich in zinc, intense exercise will result in zinc deficiency. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include slow growth, loss of appetite (loss), irritability, hair loss, dry skin, loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, and nausea.
Some other symptoms of zinc deficiency include:
– Problems with sleep
– Eczema and other skin diseases
– Lack of sex drive
-Loss of appetite
-White spots on your fingernails
List of foods high in zinc:
1. Cocoa and chocolate
Cocoa and dark chocolate are known for their high levels of benefits. In addition to antioxidants, cocoa powder contains a lot of zinc. 100 grams of dark chocolate can contain up to 65% of your daily zinc levels. (or 10 mg zinc)
2. Watermelon and pumpkin seeds
pumpkin seed and watermelon seeds in particular contain high amounts of zinc. A 100g serving can contain 10-12 mg of zinc (or almost 70-75% of your daily requirement).
3. Red meat
Red meat is known to be a food rich in zinc. It is also rich in iron and is recommended as a remedy for anemia.
100 g roasted peanuts contain about 22% of the recommended daily amount of zinc.
Contains almost 80% of the recommended value in a 100 g serving. In addition to the high zinc content liver contains many more minerals and vitamins. It is usually served with fried onions.
A 100-gram serving of oysters can make up between one hundred and one thousand percent of the recommended daily allowance, making it one of the best foods high in zinc.
You should also know that when consumed in doses higher than recommended zinc, zinc can be toxic, disrupt iron absorption and cause anemia. (Iron deficiency)