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Zinc: Health Benefits and Vegan Sources

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Zinc is essential for proper wound healing, sexual health, fertility and immunity. You only need minimal amounts to stay healthy. Fall short, however, and you may be at risk of developing various health conditions.

Zinc is a trace mineral, meaning that you only need small quantities of it to stay healthy. Men need slightly more zinc than women to ensure healthy reproduction. Adult men aged over 19 years need around 11mg per day, while adult women need around 9mg per day.

Around 85 per cent of the zinc you consume through diet is present in your muscles and bones; 11 per cent in your skin and liver, and the remaining 4 per cent in the rest of your tissues.

Zinc plays a key role in regulating many of your body’s functions, from seemingly simple things like maintaining your sense of taste to more complex tasks like keeping your hormones balanced.

It is important for the synthesis of DNA, tissue repair and growth, and crucial for:

*your reproductive health

* regulating the viscosity of your blood

* the maintenance of your body tissues;

*detoxification of chemicals

*maintaining your immune function

*regulating insulin activity

*maintaining your thyroid function and maintaining your sight and smell.

The consequences of zinc deficiency

Zinc is crucial to your well-being since it is present in all tissues of your body. Falling short of it can have mild to severe consequences. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion and food processing, zinc deficiencies are now very common. If you have a marginal to moderate deficiency, you could suffer from:

*loss of sense of taste and/or smell

*poor appetite

*slow nail and hair growth

*frequent infections and impaired immunity

*enhanced oxidative stress

*increased production of inflammatory molecules

*delayed wound healing

*reduced thyroid function and skin disorders including eczema, acne or psoriasis

*reduced reproductive capacity

*mental lethargy

*depression and Alzheimer’s disease.



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