Zinc is a fundamental mineral for the body, but it is not produced by the human body and is easily found in foods of animal origin. Its functions are to ensure the proper functioning of the nervous system and strengthen the immune system, making the body stronger to resist infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria.
In addition, zinc plays important structural roles, being an essential component of various proteins in the body. Therefore, the lack of zinc can cause changes in sensitivity to flavors, hair loss, difficulty in healing and, even, growth and development problems in children. Check out what the lack of zinc can cause in the body .
Some of the main sources of zinc are animal foods, such as oysters, beef, or liver. As for fruits and vegetables, in general, they are low in zinc and, therefore, people who eat a vegetarian type diet, for example, should eat especially soy beans and nuts, such as almonds or peanuts, to maintain their better-regulated zinc levels.
What is zinc for
Zinc is very important for the functioning of the organism, having functions such as:
- Strengthen the immune system;
- Combat physical and mental fatigue;
- Increase energy levels;
- Delay aging;
- Improve memory;
- Regulate the production of various hormones;
- Improve the appearance of the skin and strengthen the hair.
Zinc deficiency can cause decreased taste sensation, anorexia, apathy, growth retardation, hair loss, delayed sexual maturation, low sperm production, decreased immunity, glucose intolerance. While excess zinc can manifest itself through nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anemia or copper deficiency.
Learn more about the function of zinc in the body .
Table of foods rich in zinc
This list presents the foods with the highest amounts of zinc.
|Food (100 g)||Zinc|
|1. Cooked oysters||39 mg|
|2. Roast beef||8,5 mg|
|3. Cooked turkey||4,5 mg|
|4. Cooked veal||4,4 mg|
|5. Cooked chicken liver||4,3 mg|
|6. Pumpkin seeds||4,2 mg|
|7. Cooked soy beans||4,1 mg|
|8. Cooked lamb||4 mg|
|9. Almond||3,9 mg|
|10. Pecan||3,6 mg|
|11. Peanut||3,5 mg|
|12. Brazil nut||3,2 mg|
|13. Cashew nuts||3,1 mg|
|14. Cooked chicken||2,9 mg|
|15. Cooked pork||2,4 mg|
Recommended daily intake
The daily intake recommendation varies according to the stage of life, but a balanced diet guarantees the supply of needs.
The blood zinc content should vary between 70 to 130 mcg / dL of blood and in urine it is normal to find between 230 to 600 mcg of zinc / day.
|Age / sex||Recommended daily intake (mg)|
|9 -13 years||8,0|
|Men between 14 and 18 years old||11,0|
|Women between 14 and 18 years old||9,0|
|Men over 18||11,0|
|Women over 18||8,0|
|Pregnancy in children under 18||14,0|
|Pregnancy over 18 years||11,0|
|Breastfeeding women under 18||14,0|
|Breastfeeding women over 18||12,0|
Ingestion of less than recommended Zinc for long periods can cause delayed sexual and bone maturation, hair loss, skin lesions, increased susceptibility to infections or lack of appetite.