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Zinc: Last But Not Least

The mineral zinc is present in every part of the body and has a wide range of functions. It helps with the healing of wounds and is a vital component of many enzyme reactions.

Zinc is vital for the healthy working of many of the body’s systems. It is particularly important for healthy skin and is essential for a healthy immune system and resistance to infection. Zinc is present in a wide variety of foods, particularly in association with protein foods.

A vegetarian diet often contains less zinc than a meat based diet and so it is important for vegetarians to eat plenty of foods that are rich in this vital mineral. Good sources for vegetarians include dairy products, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals. Pumpkin seeds provide one of the most concentrated vegetarian food sources of zinc.

Zinc deficiency is unfortunately extremely commonplace, especially in active individuals. Being deficient in this mineral interferes with testosterone production and with muscle growth as well as lowers resting metabolic rate. This will make it much more difficult to drop body fat as well as much easier to gain it.

A recent study look at metabolic rates in individuals following a low zinc diet and again after zinc supplementation. The low zinc diet greatly reduced metabolic rates in both males and in females. The good news was after 20 days of supplementation, rest metabolic rates rose significantly.

One note about zinc – when possible, take the daily dosage of 50-60mg separately as it often interferes with absorption of other nutrition.

Doc’s Thoughts: Zinc is also considered THE food for the prostate (health). In addition,  it regulates appetite. I only treated 3 or 4 women with anorexia and had very good success utilizing zinc as the main treatment.

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