This Mineral Keeps Your Immune System on Top Watch

December 21, 2016

Holidays are here, and with the pressure, stress and cold weather, building up our immune system can take a back seat. Read on for immune boosting shopping tips and what mineral is key to your health.

The holidays are here! With the pressure, stress and cold weather, building up our immune system can take a back seat. Don’t let this time of year get to you! Boost your intake of zinc rich foods to keep your immune system on top watch.

What exactly is zinc? Zinc is a micro-mineral needed in the diet in very small amounts (50 milligrams or less). It’s one of the most common elements in the earth's crust, and is present in all foods. Its importance has been recognized from ancient times, as the ancient Egyptian used zinc to enhance wound healing.

Zinc is necessary for optimum immune function, boosting immunity, and creates new cells, which allow optimal collagen production and wound healing. Zinc is also a component of key enzymes that help preserve vision. In addition, zinc is vital for reproduction and fetal development. The list goes on; in fact, the beneficial effects of zinc are so extensive because it is involved in so many functions and enzymatic processes in the body. Zinc is used and excreted in times of stress, so the holiday season is a great time to think about zinc rich foods.

What foods contain Zinc? Animal foods such as liver, beef, eggs, oysters, lamb, scallops, yogurt, and crab are rich in zinc. Plant foods such as wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, oats and sesame seeds are also rich in zinc.

Head to your supermarket and start increasing the amount of zinc rich foods in your diet today! And as always please consult your health care practitioner before changing your diet or including nutritional supplements.

Here’s another tip! Have a cold but don’t really have an appetite? Snack on pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, which are rich in zinc. Our immune cells depend on zinc to function optimally, so including these in our diet will get our cells back on track. Yogurt is also a good source of zinc; but remember to read labels for live active cultures.