Zinc is well known for its immunity-boosting effects, but there are many benefits of zinc that extend beyond this. Zinc is an essential mineral for health, and it turns out your body needs it for many functions, which is evident by the problems that a zinc deficiency can cause. A zinc deficiency can result in low blood pressure, slow bone growth, loss of appetite, loss of smell and taste, depression, weight loss, diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, and pale skin. Clearly, your body needs zinc, and there are many benefits of zinc beyond helping you avoid the flu.
1. Improved Mental Function
Zinc is a very important mineral for brain health. It works together with vitamin B6 to help the neurotransmitters in your brain communicate better. Interestingly, the hippocampus, which is the memory center of the brain, has high levels of zinc. Obviously, if you want to have great mental function, you need to make sure you are getting enough zinc. While zinc is important for brain function, there are other benefits of zinc that you should know.
2. Strong Bones
Everyone knows that calcium is critical for strong bones, but did you know that zinc is needed for healthy bones? Zinc is a component of the bone matrix, and without it your body can’t build strong bones. To get the most bone building benefit from zinc, make sure you take it a different time than when you take calcium. Calcium and zinc compete for absorption.
3. Hair Growth
One of the signs of a zinc deficiency is hair loss. When your body does not have enough zinc, your hair can become fragile and thin, which results in hair loss. While a zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, when you get enough zinc your hair becomes strong and full. In fact, zinc is so effective at helping with growth that doctors often recommend people with alopecia take zinc supplements.
4. Eye Health
One surprising fact about zinc is that it is highly concentrated in eyes. When it comes to vision, zinc in considered a “helper molecule” because it assists with bringing vitamin A to the retina. Without zinc, eyes don’t get the vitamin A they need, which results in vision impairment. In fact, zinc deficiency is particularly implicated in age-related macular degeneration.
5. Muscle Strength
If you want strong muscles, you need to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of zinc. While eyes do have high concentrations of zinc, the majority of zinc in your body is found in your muscles. Zinc is used to repair muscles after you exercise so you can build strong muscles. Zinc also helps with muscle fatigue, which means you can work out to your full potential.
6. Healthy Skin
Zinc can help you have healthy and beautiful skin in a couple of different ways. First, it helps get rid of acne because it regulates oil production and reduces bacterial infections that cause zits. Also, zinc assists with collagen production, and collagen is what gives you supple, smooth skin.
7. Hormone Health
Hormone balance is critical for health, and there are many hormones in the body that rely on zinc for proper functionality. For example, zinc is needed for insulin production, which is critical for blood sugar regulation. Zinc is also needed for reproductive hormones and thyroid hormones. Having enough zinc will help you feel your best because your hormones will be in balance.
Knowing all of these wonderful benefits of zinc, you may be wondering how much you need and where to get it. Adult females need 8 milligrams of zinc a day, and adult males need 11 milligrams of zinc. Zinc is found in oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds, oats, and peas. So, eat plenty of these foods for your zinc needs. Did you know how important zinc is for your health?