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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

                      Game Developer of iXL Digital

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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