Minerals are tiny compounds involved in hundreds of known functions in your body. They're essential for optimizing your health and performance. So how do you know if you’re getting enough of them?
Zinc, in particular, is a powerful mineral and antioxidant that every cell in your body needs in order to function. (And there are certain instances when you may need more zinc than others!)
Zinc is crucial for immune health, battling oxidation, and for boosting fertility in men and women. Ever heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac? That’s because of their high zinc content! In men, zinc is shown to improve sperm count, sperm motility, and fertilizing capacity.
If that isn’t important enough, we need zinc for optimum growth and development and for taste, smell, and vision. Zinc is used in protein, DNA, and RNA synthesis, wound healing, and is a potent anti-inflammatory. Zinc intake is even protective against compounds like cadmium and mercury, which aren't safe at any level.
Deficiency is uncommon in the developed world, but are you getting enough zinc for optimized health and performance? If you suffer from an autoimmune or GI disease, or chronic head colds or sinus infections, the answer is: probably not.
Pregnancy, lactation, puberty, trauma, surgery, or chronic infections all inhibit the uptake of zinc or use mineral stores quickly. The elderly and those with autoimmunity have a much harder time absorbing zinc, mostly due to depressed stomach acid.
Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and eating too many refined grains, nuts, and seeds can also have a detrimental effect on mineral stores.
Signs that you may have a zinc deficiency include: