I found the below article on Shape mag and thought it worth passing along:
You probably know which foods are rich in vitamin C, calcium, and even iron, but what about zinc? According to a new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, this key mineral should be at the top of your mind.
Researchers say that zinc deficiency, which can develop with age, leads to a weakened immune system and increased inflammation, a known trigger of aging and chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The study found that zinc metabolism was impaired in older animals, who showed signs and symptoms of deficiency despite consuming a diet that contained adequate amounts of the mineral.
Zinc is needed to support a proper sense of taste and smell. It’s also necessary for immune function, including the activity of T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells. And it’s needed to form DNA and cell structure, which means too little can hinder the body’s ability to heal properly.
Planning on having a baby? Zinc is something that should be in your and your partners diet!
But consuming too much can also be risky. Excess zinc has been shown to suppress the immune system and lower “good” HDL cholesterol, the type that helps slash the risk of heart disease. Taking too much can also interfere with absorption of other key nutrients, such as iron and copper, and cause GI problems, including nausea, pain, and diarrhea.
To get enough, think food first. Some of the best sources include seafood (especially scallops, shrimp, lobster, and crab), yogurt, cooked spinach, mushrooms, pumpkin and sesame seeds, lean meat, and beans.
If you think you may need a supplement, talk to your doctor or dietitian before you make a purchase. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for zinc is 40 milligrams. In a nutshell, UL essentially means that exceeding this amount between both food and supplements combined could lead to adverse effects, but there are supplements in markets and online in higher dosages.
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