Have you gotten your recommended allowance of metal today? Doesn't sound right, does it? However, there are certain metals the body uses to function properly that you can get from the foods you eat or take in supplemental form.
Zinc is one such metal that's referred to as an "essential trace element." Zinc is labeled as such because your body only needs a small amount of it for daily health -- but it does need it. Zinc strengthens the immune system and plays a role in several bodily processes. Here are the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for zinc, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
Infants to to six months: 2 mg
Babies seven to 12 months: 3 mg
Toddlers one to three years: 3 mg
Children four to eight years: 5 mg
Children nine to 13 years: 8 mg
Teenagers 14 to 18 years: 11 mg (boys) and 9 mg (girls)
Adults 19 years and older: 11 mg (men) and 8 mg (women)
Red meat, poultry and some seafood, like oysters, are great sources of zinc. You can also get zinc from nuts, whole grains and dairy products and it's been used to fortify processed foods. Zinc does a lot of amazing things in the body, so be sure to look out for it in your multivitamin if you don't feel like you're getting enough in your diet.
These are 10 of the body's main uses for zinc, according to the NIH -- we think they make zinc pretty great:
1. Growth -- This trace element is particularly important for children, to ensure their bones develop properly and to help them continue to grow and develop at a normal rate. For this reason, zinc has been added to prepared foods like breakfast cereals. Children who don't receive enough zinc may have stunted growth, poor appetite and hair loss. Puberty may also be delayed.
2. Wound Healing -- Zinc protects the tissues of the body by maintaining the integrity of the skin's structure as well as the mucosal membranes. This helps to promote better wound healing after surgery or other injury.
3. Eyes and Vision -- Zinc helps to prevent the worsening effects of macular degeneration and can be effective in protecting eye health and vision from developing cataracts and night blindness. You can also find zinc sulfate in topical treatments for irritation of the eyes.
4. Skin Conditions -- Because of its ability to speed up wound healing, zinc can be used to treat the inflammation and effects of conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne when applied topically.
5. Mental Health -- Zinc is beneficial for protecting the memory and other aspects of cognitive health. It's healing properties have been utilized for brain injuries and it's often recommended as part of your regimen to prevent and/or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease symptoms.
6. Athletic Performance -- Anyone involved in intense training, either as a professional athlete or amateur, can benefit from zinc, which can increase endurance and strength for more effective training and better results.
7. Oral Care -- If you read the label on your toothpaste and/or mouthwash, you may see zinc there. Zinc, specifically zinc citrate, is added to help prevent the development of plaque as well as gingivitis.
8. Digestive Issues -- Zinc is often used to treat diarrhea in children who either have it chronically or due to poor diet/malnutrition. A zinc deficiency, which isn't typical, is a common reason for these symptoms. Zinc can also be helpful in the treatment of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers.
9. Sexual Wellness -- Men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction or have problems conceiving with their partner may be treated with zinc to promote better sexual performance and support fertility.
10.Bones and Joints -- Just like when you're younger and zinc helps your bones to develop properly, it's also essential in protecting them from fractures and breaks caused by loss of bone density and osteoporosis. Zinc also protects the tissues of the joints to keep them flexible and pain-free.
There you have it! We'll return next week with another great supplement and 10 reasons to try it. In the meantime, stock up on your zinc at eVitamins.
Products you may like:
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Nature's Plus Zinc 10 mg Why you may like this product? Help protect the tissues of
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