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Zinc: The Usually Forgotten Micronutrient We Need Daily and Its Food Source

Zinc: The Usually Forgotten Micronutrient We Need Daily and Its Food Source

Zinc, as you may know, is a metal. It is also important that you get it into your diet. On this page, we are going to talk a little bit about the benefits of zinc, before we cover some of the best foods to get some zinc into your diet.

Why do you need zinc in your diet?

When most people think about getting zinc into their diet, they think about the job of zinc as a natural cold remedy. However, the purpose of the mineral is a lot more important than this. It can help with the following:

  • Assists with the production of hormones in your body
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Helps digestion
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory which could help to reduce pain in your body
  • Can assist with preventing some forms of cancer
  • Can tackle heat disease

Those who have a zinc deficiency, even a small amount, are at an increased risk of diabetes or infertility. Basically, it is a very important nutrient.

How much zinc should you consume?

You do not need that much zinc in your body each day. Adult males will require at least 11mg a day. Adult females around 8 milligrams. Children will need slightly less, but we are going to firmly focus on adults here.

However, we do want to note that in babies, the combination of Zinc and Vitamin K benefits [1] them incredibly. While they do not serve the same purpose, neither of them can be found in human breast milk. As a result, it is likely that the child will need to get them into their diet in some other way to promote normal development.

Top 10 Food with A Rich Source of Zinc

Let’s take a little look at a list of some of the best zinc-containing foods, shall we?

Oysters

    You will find 32mg of zinc in 6 raw oysters. This is 400% the RDA. This means that oysters are the best source of zinc around.

    You can cook your oysters however you want. We like to keep things simple, however. We suggest that you fry them with a few herbs and maybe some cheese drizzled over the top. You can also throw the oysters into a good fish stew. While you can eat oysters raw, it is not recommended.

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    Recommended Recipe: Pan Fried Oysters

    Beef

      There is 7mg of zinc in 3 ounces of braised chuck roast.

      In addition to the zinc, you will also find vitamin B12, a much-needed vitamin for keeping your skin cells healthy.

      You can cook your beef in a variety of different ways. Some people like to make hamburgers (bake, don’t fry), while others like to make a stew. We prefer the latter route as it means that you will be able to incorporate a few vegetables into the mix too.

      Recommended Recipe: Jool’s Favourite Beef Stew

      Crab

        There is 4.7 mg of zinc in a single can of blue crab meat. You will also find vitamin A, B, C and magnesium.

        Probably the best way in which to heat your crab meat is in a salad. It is not especially luxurious, but it works. Some people also like to throw it into a stir fry.

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        Recommend Recipe: Crab Salad

        Breakfast Cereal

          There are some breakfast cereals which have been fortified with zinc. The exact quantity of zinc will be dependent on the cereal that you are buying.

          We don’t really have a recipe to share with you here. Cereal is cereal. To make the most out of it, though, put milk on the cereal (low fat!). This will give you an extra helping of zinc.

          Lobster

            There is 3.4mg of zinc in 3 ounces of cooked lobster. In addition to this, you will receive a generous helping of your daily amount of B12, 32% of your family protein needs, and 8% of the all the calcium required.

            Lobsters can be prepared in several different ways. Some people love to incorporate them into salads. Others like to make sandwiches. You can even eat the lobster right out of the shell. This is why our recommended list covers several different recipes.

            Recommended recipes: 28 Different Lobster Recipes

            Pork Chop

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              You will find 2.9mg of zinc in 3 ounces of cooked pork chops. Pork chops are low in fat but high in protein. They contain choline which can be tough to get elsewhere. This is a nutrient which is known to have a positive impact on long-term memory.

              If you want to get the most out of your pork chops, we suggest that you bake or grill them. While you can fry them, it is likely that the frying will undo some of the healthier benefits.

              Recommended recipe: Marinated Baked Pork Chops

              Cashews

                There is 1.6 mg of zinc in 1 ounce of dry roasted peanuts. You will also find that these nuts are high in folate, vitamin K, and provide you with a significant amount of iron.

                Most people eat their cashews ‘raw’. Do not eat them salted. You can, however, also incorporate them into a salad or a stir fry. These are both fantastic if you are looking to ensure a healthy mix of nutrients in your diet.

                Recommended Recipe: Gingery Thai Kale Salad with Cashew Dressing

                Chickpeas

                  There is 1.3mg of zinc per ½ cup of cooked chickpeas. There is also protein, fiber, and a whole host of healthy fats.

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                  One of the great things about chickpeas is that you can use them in so many different ways. For example; if you are a vegetarian, you will be able to incorporate them into any dish which requires meat. They are a great substitute. We love to eat them as a hummus dip, though. You will then be able to dip some raw vegetables into them for a great boost in vitamins and minerals!

                  Recommended Recipe: Easy Hummus Peas

                  Chicken

                    There is 2.4mg of zinc in 3 ounces of dark meat. You will also find a healthy dose of protein and vitamin B6.

                    You probably already know of several recipes which you can use for chicken. The possibilities are limitless. You can bake it. You can fry it. You can make it into a salad. You can roast it. We love the salad option as, once again, it means that you will be able to get more nutrients into your diet.

                    Recommended Recipe: Chicken Salad

                    Almonds

                      There is 0.9mg of zinc in 1 ounce of dry roasted almonds. Not the highest amount, but the other minerals you can get will more than make up for that. You will also find magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin E. To cap it off, there is also some protein.

                      The only real way in which you can eat those almonds is straight out of the packet. They make a delightful snack. You can also sprinkle them over a salad if you are that way inclined.

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Junie Rutkevich

                      Lifestyle writer and author of "Healthy Eating Habits: A Get-Healthy Guide To Tweak And Balance Your Daily Diet"

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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