Zinc is a trace mineral that has recently become well known for its supposed benefit to combat the length and severity of the common cold. While scientific studies are inconclusive at this time, zinc is still a needed mineral for proper body function.
According to the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) zinc is needed by the body’s immune system as well as aiding in the ability to smell and taste. Here are 5 ways to add zinc to your diet to assure proper functioning of these bodily systems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) noted that Zinc deficiency is considered uncommon among most groups of Americans. Two groups that the NIH noted that are at risk is Pregnant and Lactating Women and Vegetarians. Pregnant and Lactating Women should consult with their physician for more information on Zinc intake. The NIH appears to be more concerned with the over consumption of zinc.
The easiest answer to how to get more zinc in your diet is to eat more beef. Beef is one of most common foods eaten by Americans and is a reason that zinc deficiency is uncommon. Beef is one of the most beneficial foods with zinc and an easy way to add zinc to your diet. Of course, the healthiest beef to eat is low fat cuts regardless of the zinc.
Pork is another of many foods with zinc. Again low fat cuts of pork are best to maximize the health benefits of pork without adding more fat to your intake. Pork is a common food eaten by many Americans adding more zinc to the average diet. Both pork and beef are commonly recommended ways to get more zinc.
Of course, if you are a vegan, eating beef or pork is out the question. However there are sources of zinc that do not include eating meat. Perhaps the most commonly eaten non-meat foods with zinc are peanut based. Peanut butter is a source of zinc that fits into a vegan diet. Peanut butter is known as a meat replacement for those who cannot or choose not to eat meat and is an easy way to add zinc to your diet. I have used peanuts for snacking for many years to reduce intake of fatty foods that are commonly eaten for snacks. Peanuts and other nuts provide a good source of many nutrients in addition to zinc. Peanuts are an easy way to add zinc to your diet. Those who eat a vegetarian diet might want to consult with a nutritionist or physician to assure that they are eating a proper diet.
Legumes are another answer for vegetarians asking how to get more zinc in their diets. Baked beans, peas, and lima beans all contain zinc, though not in the amount contained in meat and to a lesser degree fish.
Perhaps the easiest way to get more zinc is the use of supplements. Zinc is commonly present in most multivitamins. Though nutrients are probably best received through diet, if zinc intake is a problem in your diet supplements might be a good answer.