You may or may not have heard of it but including zinc as a part of your daily diet, whether that’s in your food or in supplements, is incredibly important. But what is zinc, and why do we need to include it as part of our daily diet?

What is zinc?

Zinc is an essential nutrient that our bodies need and is helpful for several different bodily processes, including immune function, wound healing, and growth and development. It can be found in animal and plant foods such as natural zinc and is found synthetically in foods such as breakfast cereals, snack bars, and baking flour. 

It may be important to note that our bodies don’t produce zinc naturally. Therefore, it’s important that we either eat foods or take supplements that contain zinc within them so that they can help our bodies with their natural functions.

What are the benefits of zinc?

Some of the benefits of zinc have already been mentioned briefly, but let’s look at these benefits in a bit more detail.

Immune function has already been mentioned, but what zinc helps with regarding this specifically is reducing your risk of getting an infection. If you have low levels of zinc in your body, this means you are likely to get a manner of different infections, such as pneumonia. So, to avoid this, you will want to take foods with plenty of zinc in them or some zinc supplements. 

Zinc has also been found to have antioxidant properties, which means ensuring zinc is a part of your daily diet can help reduce oxidative stress. This can lead to cell and tissue breakdown and can largely harm your overall health. It is believed that there is a link between oxidative stress and chronic illnesses, including diabetes, so you must include zinc in your diet to avoid any of this from happening. 

Plus, something we all suffer from at one point or another is a cold, and it has been found that zinc can help with the signs and symptoms of the common cold. It has been suggested that taking lozenges with zinc in them can help to reduce the length of time you have your cold for. 

Why take zinc tablets?

As already mentioned, including zinc as part of your daily diet is incredibly important due to all the benefits it holds. Even though you can find zinc in your foods, sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly which foods have zinc in them, and even if you do know, it can be hard to know exactly how much zinc they contain. Therefore, it may be better for you to take zinc tablets instead, so you will know exactly how much zinc you are taking. Men should take 11mg, and women should take 8mg. 

Final thoughts

Including zinc as part of your daily diet, amongst many other vitamins and minerals, is incredibly important as this helps to protect you against many illnesses and infections, can help you fight them off, and helps with your growth and development. If you don’t end up including zinc as part of your diet, it could end up having strong consequences for you and your health.