Zinc is an important trace mineral that people need in order to stay healthy. It is needed for the immune system to work properly and plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Zinc is also needed for the senses of smell and taste. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also enhances the action of insulin.

Zinc is naturally found in the following types of foods:

  • Some Meat (such as beef, pork ,and chicken)
  • Some Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, and oyster)
  • Some Dairy (such as swiss cheese and milk)
  • Beans & Chickpeas
  • Cashews
  • Peas

It is recommended that adult males get 11mg of zinc per day and adult females get 8mg of zinc per day. Individuals at greater risk for zinc deficiency are vegetarians, pregnant women, and alcoholics.

Information adapted from: medlineplus.gov

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