When your deficient in zinc you really feel it and see it. Why? Zinc's primary function is cell growth and supporting your immune cells. Low Zinc might mean your immune system isn't functioning optimally.
What to look out for when you are low in zinc:
- Delayed wound healing - If you've got a cut or a scratch that isn't healing as it should, this might be a sign of low Zinc.
- Those little white lines on your fingernails aren't necessarily damage, they could indicate when you are low inzZinc and they usually pop up during and after an illness
- Weird tastes - An abnormal taste in your mouth. Sort of like a weird metallic taste. I had this through my pregnancies, but I didn't link it, but my immune system was really low
How to get more zinc in: Eat your zinc foods, Protein rich foods are good for zinc, also seafood (if you like oysters - you are scoring high on your zinc levels!) Pumpkin seeds and ginger are also good.
How much zinc do you need? Well the British Nutrition Foundation states that adults need 7-10mg per day. Different foods contain different amounts. 100g of beef for example holds 4.3mg of zinc, in 100g of brown rice there is 2.0mg.
What to watch out for: It might not be the amount you're eating but how you are eating the food which inhibits zinc's absorption. Phytates found on grains, seeds and legumes inhibit zinc efficiency, as well as oxylates found in spinach and quinoa. To combat this try to soak a good 24 hours before eating as this breaks down the phytates. Raw spinach contains higher amounts of oxylates, so if you steam your spinach you will be good to go.