Health Club | Your Portal for Health Information and Lifestyle » Zinc Health Club is your source for health information and wellness articles, information about vitamins, supplements, nutrition, medical information, weight loss and diets. Wed, 08 May 2013 08:21:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Zinc Rich Foods Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:38:10 +0000 Healthy Eating

Zinc is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining a sense of smell, keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. Zinc also helps the cells in your body communicate by functioning as a neurotransmitter. A deficiency in zinc can lead to stunted growth, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, and depressed immunity. Conversely, consuming too much zinc can disrupt absorption of copper and iron, as well as create large amounts of toxic free radicals. The current RDA for Zinc is 15mg. Below is a list of the top ten foods highest in Zinc.

#1: Oysters
Depending on type and variety oysters provide 16-182mg of zinc per 100g serving. This accounts for 110%-1200% of the RDA for zinc. The food highest in zinc is The Steamed Wild Eastern Oyster which provides 182 mg of zinc per 100g serving, or 76mg (509% RDA) in 6 oysters, and 154mg (1029% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving.

#2: Toasted Wheat Germ
Packed in jars and sold toasted, wheat germ is great to sprinkle on top of any food. Try it on salads, rice, or steamed vegetables. Toasted wheat germ provides 17mg (112% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, which is 19mg (126% RDA) per cup, and 1.2mg (8% RDA) in a single tablespoon. Crude (untoasted) wheat germ provides 12mg (82% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 14mg (94% RDA) per cup, and 1mg (6% RDA) per tablepsoon.

#3: Veal Liver
The liver of any animal is packed with vitamins and minerals and most commonly served as p?t? or liverwurst. Veal liver has the most zinc with 12mg per 100g serving accounting for 81% of the RDA, that is 8.98mg of zinc (60% RDA) in a cooked slice of liver (80g). Liver is best prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs.

#4: Sesame Seeds and Tahini (Sesame Butter)
Sesame products contain about 10mg of Zinc per 100g serving (70% RDA). Sesame flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in cakes and breads. Tahini is commonly found in hummus (a ground chickpea spread and dip of the Middle East) it will provide 4.6mg (31% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 0.7mg (5% RDA) per tablespoon. Whole sesame seeds provide 7.8mg/100g (52% RDA), 11mg (74% RDA) per cup, and 0.7mg (5% RDA) per tablespoon.

#5: Low Fat Roast Beef
Low fat beef shoulder, shank, and chuck all contain about 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 18mg (119% RDA) per pound, and 9mg (59% RDA) in a 3 oz serving. If you buy pre-processed roast beef be sure to consult the nutrition facts about the cut and nutrients. Not all nutrition labels report zinc, so don’t worry if you don’t see it.

#6: Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
A popular food in the Middle East and East Asia pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 6.6mg (59% RDA) per cup, and 3mg (19% RDA) per ounce (~85 seeds). If you can’t find these in your local supermarket you will surely find them in Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty stores. Alternatively, you can also save any pumpkin and squash seeds you have and roast them in your oven. The seeds are typically eaten by cracking the outer shell and eating the seed inside.

#7: Dried Watermelon Seeds
Much like the pumpkin and squash, watermelon seeds are popular in the Middle East and East Asia and they should be in specialty stores catering to those cultures. It is also possible to just eat the seeds raw with the watermelon. You can shell them, or just chew them up whole. Dried watermelon seeds provide 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 11mg (74 %RDA) per cup, and 3mg (19% RDA) per ounce.

#8: Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Chocolate is showing more and more health benefits and dark chocolate is coming into vogue. Unsweetened baking chocolate provides 9.6mg (64% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving (most bars are 50-100 grams). Cocoa powder will provide 6.8mg (45% RDA) per 100g, or 5.4mg (39% RDA) per cup, 0.3mg (2% RDA) per tablespoon. Most milk chocolates provide around 2.3mg (15% RDA) per 100g serving or 1mg (7% RDA) per bar.

#9: Lamb (Mutton)
Lamb is a common meat in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and most of Europe, but is increasing in popularity in the Americas. Lamb provides between 4.2-8.7mg of zinc per 100g serving (28%-58% RDA) depending on cut. That is up to 7.4mg (49% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams).

#10: Peanuts
Peanuts are a great source of zinc, 100 grams of oil roasted peanuts will provide 6.6mg (44% RDA) of zinc, or 8.8mg (59% RDA) in 1 cup chopped, 1.9mg (12% RDA) per oz (~39 peanuts). Dry roasted peanuts will provide half as much zinc at 3.3mg (22% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 4.8mg (32% RDA) per cup, and 1mg (6% RDA) per oz.

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Zinc – facts Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:33:34 +0000 Healthy Eating

Zinc is an essential trace element that is vital for growth and development. Zinc is instrumental in immune response, brain function and the ability to reproduce. There is also conflicting data suggesting that zinc supplements might be able to reduce symptoms of the common cold.

  1. Function of Zinc

    • Zinc is essential for the proper function of cellular metabolism. About 100 enzymes rely on zinc to help them catalyze vital chemical reactions. Zinc protects cell membranes from oxidative damage and stabilizes the structure of cell proteins. Zinc proteins bind to DNA and help the genes tell cells what to do. This includes telling certain cells to die, which is important for growth, gestation and disease prevention. Zinc also helps control the release of hormones and the transmission of nerve impulses.

    Daily Recommended Allowances of Zinc

    • The recommended daily allowance of zinc varies for different types of people. Babies up to 6 months old should consume about 2 mg of zinc per day. This increases to 3 mg per day for children 7 months to 3 years old. Children 4 to 8 years old should get 5 mg of zinc per day. Children 9 to 13 years old should consume 8 mg.

      The optimal amount of zinc in a diet differs between men and women after age 14. The recommended daily allowance for men is 11 mg of zinc per day; women only require 9 mg per day, except when they are pregnant or lactating. Pregnant women should get 13 mg of zinc per day, while lactating women should consume 14 mg per day.

    Benefits of Zinc-Rich Foods

    • People can benefit from eating zinc-rich foods. These include red meat, poultry, crab, lobster, nuts, beans, milk, yogurt, cheese, whole grain bread and fortified breakfast cereal. The food with the most zinc is oysters–a serving of 6 oysters has 76.7 mg of zinc. The tolerable upper intake level for an adult is 40 mg of zinc, so it is advisable to eat no more than 3 oysters per day.

    Warning: Too Much or Too Little Zinc

    • Doctors warn against consuming too much or too little zinc. Too much zinc leads to zinc toxicity. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and severe headache. High zinc levels interfere with the body’s absorption of copper and iron. This can lead to a weakened immune system and anemia. Too little zinc can lead to zinc deficiency. Symptoms include stunted growth, weigh loss, skin lesions and hair loss. Vegetarians, pregnant women and alcoholics are all potentially in danger of zinc deficiency. They can benefit from zinc supplements or eating zinc-rich foods.

    Zinc and the Common Cold

    • It is a controversial belief that zinc lozenges, gels and sprays decrease the length and severity of the common cold. Anyone thinking about taking zinc to treat a cold should consider the scientific data. At least 14 major studies have examined the link between zinc and the common cold. About half found that zinc alleviated cold symptoms and reduced sick days. The other half found that zinc did no better than a placebo. Therefore, scientists consider the research inconclusive.

Read more: What Does Zinc Do for the Body? |

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