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Don’t Ignore ZINC to COVID-proof Yourself

Don’t Ignore ZINC to COVID-proof Yourself

Zinc is an essential nutrient for good health and a balanced diet must include large amounts of zinc to maintain a healthy body.  It plays an important role in the activity of about 300 enzymes in our body, which contribute to strengthening our immune system, cell division, cell growth, wound healing and synthesizing proteins DNA.

Despite being aware of its importance, people around the world are suffering from zinc deficiency. As per official data from WHO, about 1/3rd of global population does not consume zinc in adequate amount.  One of the primary reasons for widespread Zinc deficiency is that just like protein, our body is not capable of storing zinc for a long period, thus a person must consume zinc on a regular basis to meet the daily requirements.

The importance of zinc can be further understood from The fact that Zinc is being prescribed to Covid-19 patients for treatment further establishes its importance. Eating foods rich in zinc is thus vital to maintaining good health and can help in strengthening our immunity.

10 zinc rich foods sources

Vegetarian Sources of Zinc

  1. Legumes: Legumes are a great plant based food to add to our diet and contain good amounts of zinc. Legumes like chickpea, beans, and lentils are good sources of zinc. 100 gms of chickpeas contain 2 mg zinc and 100 gm of lentils contain 3 mg of zinc.
  2. Cashew nuts: Cashews are most commonly available nuts of all. They are packed with zinc, copper, Vitamin K, Vitamin A and folate. Eating them regularly also keeps blood pressure in control. 28 gm of cashew contains 1.6 mg of zinc.
  3. Oats: Oats are a classic breakfast staple. Loaded with fiber, beta-glucan, vitamin B6 and folates, oats regulate cholesterol levels and promote growth of good bacteria in the gut. They are also a rich source of zinc and half a bowl of oats contain 1.3 mg of zinc.
  4. Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a good low-calorie source of zinc. They are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin A, C, E, and iron. 200gms of mushroom contain 1.3 mg of zinc.
  5. Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and also contain zinc in large measure. 28 gm of pumpkin seeds contain 2.2 mg of zinc. They are very versatile and can be added to the diet in a number of different ways.
  6. Dairy: Milk and yoghurt contain good amounts of zinc, while also being rich sources of calcium. They are known to be good for bones, teeth, and gut health. 250 ml of low-fat milk contains 1.02 mg of zinc & 250 ml of low-fat plain yogurt contains 2.38 mg of zinc.
  7. Dark Chocolate: For those with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate offer a delectable source of zinc. Rich in zinc content, dark chocolate contains flavanol, which has some vascular benefits like managing blood pressure, improving blood flow and boosting immunity.  A 100 gm bar of 70-85% dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg of zinc.

Non-vegetarian Sources of Zinc

  1. Chicken: Chicken is another source of lean protein, which contributes to muscle growth and development. It is also a rich source of zinc content. Consuming chicken regularly is known to be good for bones, heart health and immunity.
  2. Shellfish: Shellfish are low-calorie and rich in zinc. Oyster has the highest zinc content as compared to other seafood. Other shellfish like crab, shrimps, lobster, mussel etc. contain less zinc than oysters but are still good sources of nutrients. 50 gms of Oysters contain 8.5 mg of zinc.
  3. Meat: Animal based foods are known to be the best source of zinc. Red meat, in particular, is a great source of this nutrient. It is also packed with Vitamin B12, which is not found in plant based food products.  However, meat is also loaded with cholesterol and causes health concerns when consumed in excess.

Please consult your doctor in case of severe deficiency of Zinc. This article lays down ways to replenish the nutrient level in the body assuming that the reader is not suffering from any acute illness, in which case professional medical intervention must take precedence.

About The Author

Srishti Tiku

Srishti is a graduate in Behavioral Economic Science from University of Warwick, UK, and is passionate about using her knowledge to decipher sustainability challenges through research and analysis. As Economics attempts to explain the processes that shape lives and livelihoods, Srishti finds it fascinating to learn about emerging patterns while wading her way through issues engulfing people, planet and profit. When she is not at desk, she loves to read and watch movies.

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