199 Facts : Zinc Deficiency, foods, daily Need & Benefits

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Zinc in Brief Introduction

For most of people, Zinc likely sounds strange and less popular than other good essences such as vitamin, mineral, protein, carbohydrate and so on and so forth. This, however, does not mean that it is less useful as well. As one type of chemical essences, Zinc was firstly named by a chemist called Paracelcus and derived from a German language, zinke. It is symbolized and shortened into Zn and has 30 as its atom number. In the term of benefit, Zinc plays a big and significant role not only in maintaining people’s health, but also for other living creatures, which are animal and plants. Particularly for human, zinc functions to maximize the ‘work’ of nearly 300 enzyme functions in arranging DNA chain and RNA as wall as the creation process of testosterone hormone.

Zinc itself is actually found in the human body, which is about 2-3 gram in various body organs, light nets, bone, body liquid and cells. However, 90% of zinc is at muscle and bone as well as prostate gland. The amount of natural zinc in the human body is far from adequate in comparison to the regular daily need of Zinc, so that people are supposed to cover body organs daily need of Zinc by consuming Zinc containing foods. Some foods provide good natural source of Zinc and would be mentioned at the next section.

Anyway, when you find this name of essence mentioned, it could have various meanings which some of them are not related to the topic we are talking in this writing. Some of them are not about human body essence or an essence needed by human. It could also relate to other meanings and function such ingredients of skin care products, deodorant, anti-dandruff shampoo, vitamin and mineral supplement as well as laboratory goods. Therefore, you have to be selective and considerate in dealing with naming of Zinc.

This writing would like to explain to you mainly about the Zinc containing foods or any foods which are categorized as Zinc sources. However, to give comprehensive understanding about Zinc and avoid any misconception even misuse in consuming and ‘using’ Zinc, this writing is well arranged following these subtitles;

  • Zinc in Brief Introduction
  • Benefits of Zinc
  • Amount of Daily Need of Zinc
  • Zinc Source Foods
  • Bad Effects of Zinc Inadequacy
  • Bad Effects of Zinc Excess

The structure of writing would also make you easier in scanning and skimming just in case you need to find any information at a short time. At opposite, you could also rely on the structure when you have much time to read and want to complete your knowledge and understanding about Zinc essence for assuring the health of you yourself and your family. Pay attention to every detail and you would find valuable information in digestible deliverance.

Benefits of Zinc

Benefits of Zinc may not be too much different from benefits of other good essences ranging from protein, vitamin, carbohydrate, iron and so on and so forth. However, knowing this information should not make you confused because if you find that one single benefit could be provided from two types of good essences, you could double and strengthen the function by consuming foods providing those two essences. There should not be a sort of overlapping consumption of good essences if you do not consume it at adequate or excess portion, particularly if you provide the source from natural essences.

Following is the list of Zinc benefits you could find and ‘enjoy’ for assuring your health and avoiding your body away from any threat.

1. Improving Body Immune System

Body immune system could also be improved by the regular and adequate consumption of Zinc, in addition to other good essences. It is even stated that among other vitamins and minerals, Zinc could give bigger effect in improving body immune system. This is closely related to the unique characteristic of Zinc enabling it to keep the immune cell active in detecting and paralyzing any kind of infection.

Moreover, Zinc also supports the production of leucosit and the activation process of B and T cell. Those two types of cell are particularly needed to prevent any virus and bacteria away. You yourself can now understand that Zinc could fight against all causes of disease and health problems ranging from infection, virus and bacteria. This also means that if you could assure that Zinc supply is well covered, your body protection would be strong and any disease would hardly disturb you.

2. Increasing Fertility Level

This particularly occurs to men because Zinc could actively take a part in keeping prostate gland works well and making it safe from any infection and swelling. In addition to it, Zinc also helps in keeping the quality and quantity of sperm as well as the function of testosterone hormone. If those things could be in good condition, fertility level would increase and as a consequence, possibility to get pregnant would be automatically bigger.

3. Helping to Care Brain and Boosting the Mood

Technically, Zinc is good in minimizing the possibility of damage caused by oxidation process. The damage could be about some brain problems ranging from Alzheimer to Parkinson. As many people may likely know, the brain care could not be conducted only by ‘using’ the brain properly, but also relating to technical things such as blood stream to the brain and ‘management’ of oxidation process. Zinc here is very good at minimizing the bad effect which could occur as a bad effect of oxidation, as this process is hardly to avoid.

Additionally, it is also Zinc which have effect and function in calming down the mood and boost it very well. Unsurprisingly, those with inadequate supply of Zinc could suffer agitation and bad mood just like what could be found in those with fatal depression. It is scientifically proved that there is a close relation between Zinc consumption and serotonin absorption at the brain. Serotonin itself is an influential essence in determining the mood condition.

4. Helping significantly in Maintaining Eye Health and DNA Synthesization Process

Zinc has a big role in maintaining eye health, particularly its retina. It works very well in preventing aging effect on eye retina which could cause blindness and dim problems. Cataract could also be avoided by regular consumption of Zinc.

As you could see, this information may lead you to more diligently consume Zinc source food combining with vitamin A particularly if you are passionate to get a better result for your eye care. Moreover, the adequate supply of Zinc would help your body in sythesizing vitamin A so it could work well for eyes.

Zinc is even stated as the ‘transmitter’ carrying the vitamin A in blood stream to the eye organ. Therefore, it would be right to say that without Zinc, the effect of vitamin A to the eye would not be at its maximum level because vitamin A itself would find some barriers to give its main function.

5. Helping in Pregnancy Period

In pregnancy period, a fetus or baby needs much Zinc supply in helping cell creation process as well as its development. If this need could be well covered, fetus’s growth, particularly his/her cells would be perfectly created and finished so as soon as he/she is born, there would bo no medical problem found. The coverage of Zinc need would also avoid and minimize the possibility of premature birth and deformity by born. As there would be no parents or family wish any bad thing happen to the baby, Zinc consumption could be reliable solution to help pregnancy period as well in making giving birth process run smooth.

6. Maintaining Hair Health

If you like to pay attention on shampoo package, you may likely know that an essence you could easily find in the information of ingredient is zinc. A brand of popular shampoo product even duplicates the name of essence showing that Zinc essence is very helpful and beneficial for hair care particularly in the strength and thickness of hair.

Therefore, if you have any problem with your hair or are passionate to have healthy and good looking hair, consuming Zinc source foods would be better for you. Combining with regular use of shampoo, you could combine hair care from both the inside and outside to deal with both repairing damaged hair and having regular care.

7. Accelerating Skin Regeneration and Rejuvenation

In addition to hair care products, you could also find information and mention about Zinc at the ingredient of any skin care products. The number will not be likely as many as what you can find in hair care products, but your could easily find it if you know the specific type of product. This mainly because of the particular use of Zinc in skin care, which is skin care on burned wound, skin rash or at the moisture part of baby organ because of diaper regular use. Some skin care products in acne prevention or care also use Zinc as the ingredient since Zinc could manage the level of oil gland and strengthen anti-inflammation formula.

Apart of it, Zinc actually contains anti-oxidant essence which could serve as umbrella or protection from UV. It also works well in producing collagen; an essence working well in recovering any wound, preventing skin allergy even beautifying by disguising small black spot and aging signs.

Anyway, what you can sum up from this is that if you have problem with your skin, whether it is acne, many types of wound or simply to ‘feed’ your skin on what it deserves to get, you could consume Zinc sources in food. Regular consumption would help you dealing with skin regular need, such as acceleration of regeneration and specific need, which is rejuvenation and anti aging formula.

Certainly, you could also combine your consumption on Zinc with other essences working good for skin care, such as vitamin C and vitamin D to get better result. This particularly applies when you have special agenda or program for your skin care or in recovery period after suffering any type of skin problem.

In addition to those mentioned above, other functions of Zinc are the bone mineralization, net growth, thyroid function and even for diabetes recovery and osteoporosis prevention.

After knowing the benefits of Zinc, you may likely want to know for detail about the Zinc source foods for rearranging your meal menu or daily consumption of your family. However, besides about the type of food, one other thing which is not less important for arranging your meal is the portion or volume of food you consume. This information would lead you to consume a good essence in good portion so it would not be too more or too less because the wrong portion could also be harmful. That is why, before knowing various types of food with Zinc essence, you have to know about the proper portion or daily need of Zinc for your consumption. Pay very much attention to the information below and make sure you arrange the proper volume of Zinc for your own and your family consumption of Zinc.

Zinc Source Foods

In covering daily need of Zinc, you could rely on your knowledge about high protein foods because usually, foods with high protein also have high zinc essence. This means that consuming high protein foods could cover your Zinc and protein need in one time consumption, although you have to make sure for first about the specific type of food. Anyway, if you still wonder about what type of food you could rely on in covering your Zinc need, you can actually find it at some natural foods or packaged products such as Zinc supplement and the likes.

Following is the list of natural foods with high essence of Zinc you could consume for covering your body Zinc need. The list is structured and arranged from the lowest Zinc containing food materials to the highest one. Pay very much attention because some of them could be your favorite so you can consume it for satisfying your appetite and covering your body need at one time.

Spinach (0, 53 mg for each 100 g)

Vegetarians would like to consume spinach as it contains high nutrition of calorie, fiber and vitamin. However, it only contains a very small number of Zinc which is about 0,53 mg for each 100 mg. This means that if you want to cover your Zinc daily need with consuming spinach only, it would be likely impossible. You have to combine it with other good essences. Spinach remains special though as among other types of vegetable, it contains Zinc essence.

Mushroom (1, 4 mg for each 100 g)

Mushroom is also another type of vegetable with Zinc essence. A small bowl of mushroom provides about 1,4 mg Zinc which is same as 9 percent of Zinc daily need. Although this number is relatively small, mushroom could still be favorite and consumed in big portion as it contains low fat and offers delicious taste in any variety of cooking ways. For vegetarians particularly who like to consume mushroom, this information could be great news as they can still do the diet program while covering Zinc daily need.

Brown Rice (2,2 mg for each 100 g)

One of the trending topics today is to replace white rice with brown rice as the later is considered having much more ‘safe’ nutrition. This campaign is closely related to the gilcemic essence in which the former contains much, while the later only contains a very small number. In addition to the gilcemic essence, it is also known that brown rice contains Zinc. Although the number is not that big, brown rice could still be your preference particularly if you like to eat rice in big amount.

Main Part (Yellow) of Egg (2,4 mg for each 100 g)

Into some extent, egg is not recommended to consume as it contains very high level of cholesterol. However, if you have no problem with cholesterol and could combine consumption of egg with other materials, it would be good because egg also has rich essence of protein needed.

Lobster (6,2 mg for each 100 g)

If you rely on consuming lobster only for covering your body Zinc daily need, you would need about 220 g Zinc a day. As you could predict, it would not be good for your body as lobster also contains high volume of cholesterol. Therefore, you could combine lobster with other types of Zinc source foods with low cholesterol

Sea Crab (6,5 mg for each 100 g)

Not far different from lobster, 100 g sea crab could only fulfill about forty three (43) percent of your daily Zinc need. This means that you have to be smart in combining it with other Zinc source foods, particularly those which do not have high level of cholesterol.

Dark Chocolate (6,8 mg for each 100 g)

Dark chocolate is already popular as a type of food which is not only delicious, but also rich of various types of good essence. Zinc is one of them. Most of people consume dark chocolate as a drink or snack and you also do the same or make any cake using dark chocolate as the main material. Although the price would not be cheap, dark chocolate contains about 45 % of Zinc daily need at its each 100 g. If you could combine it with other Zinc source foods to cover a daily need, it would be good and affordable because you can also combine the consumption between snack and main meal.

As for your information, dark chocolate is also a source of anti-oxidant working well in preventing cancer and improving mental health. It then accords with one of benefits of Zinc which is boosting the mood and making it in good condition. It is also good if you could be selective in choosing dark chocolate product by paying very much attention on the ingredient information because there are many chocolate products with only a very few cacao but rich of calories and sugar.

Lamb (8,7 mg for each 100 g)

About 58% of your body daily need of Zinc could be covered by consuming 100 g lamb. This is certainly a very good news for those who like to consume lamb, cook various types of it or simply like to enjoy and taste various cooks with lamb as the main ingredients such as kebab and other main meal menus.

Watermelon Seeds (10 mg for each 100 g)

You may find it strange as most people who know or hear this for the first time but researches reveal that watermelon seeds have various types of good essence ranging from Zinc, protein, magnesium, healthy fat and vitamin D. This information is certainly a good news for vegetarian dieter who avoid consuming lambs, lobster or sea crab as mentioned above. Moreover, the volume of Zinc is also relatively big as consuming 100 g watermelon seed could already cover about 65 percent of daily need of Zinc.

Sesame Seeds (10,2 mg for each 100 g)

People like to think that sesame seeds are only used in decorating the cake or beautifying the look of any cook. However, it turns out that this small thing also contains high number of Zinc, which is about 68% of a daily Zinc need in its each 100 g. It may surprise you but if you pay attention to the sesame, you would relatively agree that it offers good effects for health due its natural value and uncontaminated essence from any chemical things. It also contains other types of mineral, one of which is magnesium.

Pumpkin Seeds (10,3 mg for each 100 g)

Vegetarians like to consume pumpkin and make it juice or common cook of vegetables, sometimes with traditional spice and or coconut milk. In peeling the pumpkin, the seeds are usually removed away and sent to the dustbin right away by assumption that it is useless. However, it is only a very few people who know that the seeds are so beneficial for health as it contains Zinc essence.

In comparison to other types of plant categories of Zinc source foods, pumpkin seeds even relatively contain high number of Zinc. Consuming 100 gram of pumpkin seeds can already cover 69 percent of Zinc daily need. This information automatically implies that Zinc source foods do not only consist of high price food materials, because Zinc is also available at any affordable material such as pumpkin seeds.

For your additional information, cooking the pumpkin seeds could decrease the Zinc essence inside so it is highly recommended to consume it at raw condition, if you like. This small thing is also beneficial for preventing prostate cancer and improving body immune system.

Beef Liver  (11,9 mg for each 100 g)

Consuming 100 g of liver of cow could cover about 79 percent of Zinc daily need. If you like to consume liver of cow before knowing this information, this could be a great news for you. However, it would be far better if you still control your appetite because as you may likely know, in addition to Zinc essence, liver of cow also contains high level of fat and cholesterol.

If you consume it too much just for covering your Zinc need without considering other aspects, it would be harmful as well. That is why, consulting to your doctor and having regular medical check up would make you safe from any threat of health problem because of misinformation or unbalanced information. Do not forget as well to control your blood pressure as the liver of cow could increase the blood pressure significantly so that it would not be good for those with high blood pressure.

Beef (12,3 mg for each 100 g)

People like to consume beef for some reasons, ranging from traditional dining style, various cooks made by beef as the main material or simply for making it as ‘medicine’. No matter what kind of motive you have, it is important for you to know that consuming 100 gram of beef daily could cover 82 percent of Zinc daily need of your body at that day.

It would be very fine if you could consume beef without any threat of medical or health problems just like what some people suffer. In addition to covering almost all of your Zinc daily need, you could also satisfy your appetite because beef could be cook in various ways and styles, such as pizza, steak, noddle and so on and so forth.

For your information, other good essences containing at beef are protein, magnesium and iron. To make sure that you could get the best benefit of beef, you have to be selective in choosing the healthy and fresh beef as well as in cooking procedure.

Wheat Germ (12, 3 for each 100 g)

In some culture, bread or cereal replaces the position of rice which is a common main food in Indonesia. Whether you like to consume bread for main meal menu or not, you may likely like to consume it as it is available in various tastes, shapes as well as texture. Some occasion also use bread as the main menu such as birthday party, wedding party and the likes. Bread is also easily available at various shops even department store.

However, although everyone may like to consume bread, perhaps only a few of them who know that the main material of bread, which is wheat, is rich of Zinc essence. Consuming 100 gr wheat even already surpasses the daily need of Zinc so make sure you do not consume it that much because excess consumption of Zinc source foods would neither be good. Another interesting thing about bread or wheat is that you could consume it anytime and anywhere as it does not require you to sit in front of table just to consume it. You can make it both a main meal menu and snack as well.

Oyster (78,6 mg for each 100 g)

It is understandable why people like to relate Zinc with oyster. In comparison to other foods with Zinc essence, oyster contains the most essence of Zinc. Consuming 100 gram of oyster surpasses the daily need of Zinc up to 524 percent. Considering this fact, it means that at maximum, the safe consumption of oyster is about 20 gram of oyster a day or six pieces of oyster. However, you have to be more careful and considerate if you have problems with cholesterol as oyster also contains high level of cholesterol.

To maintain the rich essence of Zinc, make sure that you do not cook it too long and not use too much water. Overcooked and too much water used in cooking process could decrease the Zinc essence in oyster so it is not recommended to do those two things. As for the bad effects of too much consumption of cholesterol is the decreasing body immune system and the problem of body metabolism.

In addition to those mentioned above, some materials also contain high nutrition of Zinc, although the exact number of Zinc essence could not be exactly said. One of them is garlic which also contains manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium and make it good for detoxification process. To consume Zinc essence at maximum, it is advised that garlic is consumed at raw instead of cooked or made as spices.

Anyhow, different from the above category mentioning each type of food in detail explanation, there is another version of information enlisting source of Zinc in food based on more general categories. You could compare this following list with above mentioned list to have comprehensive understanding or have richer perspective. For some people who have allergic problems, the following list would be particularly helpful.

  • Seafood

Among all types of seafood, it is oyster with highest and richest Zinc essence. If you have allergy with oyster or do not like the smell even the taste, you could still provide Zinc supply from sea crab, fish, especially salmon and lobster. To get the Zinc essence at maximum, it is advisable that you cook it by grilling. This advice particularly applies for those who want to increase testosterone level.

  • Meat

Same as seafood, grilled or roasted meat is far better than other ways of cooking in the sense of Zinc availability. Rib bones are also more recommended than others, if you can find any. Anyway, other than the type of meat mentioned above, which are lamb and beef, you could also find Zinc in chicken, pork and turkey. However, those three last types relatively have small number of Zinc compared to the lamb and beef. For those who have allergy or other problems with lamb and beef, those alternative meats could be right choice.

  • Milk Product

Milk product also contains Zinc essence, such as yogurt and cheese, particularly ricotta, Switzerland and Gouda. The milk itself also contains Zinc essence. Although the number of Zinc is not that small, it could still be a good choice for those who like to consume milk and its product.

  • Beans and Grains

This information is particularly important for vegetarian who avoid to consume meat too much or too often. Some types of bean and grain, including those mentioned above, contain Zinc essence and could be alternative so they do not need to leave the diet program. Other than what mentioned above, other types of bean and grain with Zinc essence are almond, mete bean, as Indonesian say it and the seed of sunflower. Vegetarians could also be glad to know that soy (including tofu and tempe), black eyed peas and other types of bean have Zinc essence.

As you could see, you could not rely on fruit or vegetable too much in covering your daily need of zinc as they only have very small number of Zinc. Those two essences are particularly hard to absorb. This is why, those who run vegetable and fruit diet would likely have problem with lack of zinc or so called hipozinkemia or zinc deficiency. This would not happen if they consume Zinc supplement product or combine vegetarian menu with Zinc source food correctly and properly. Therefore, you need to pay your attention here as some bad effects of zinc inadequacy could occur and suffer you as follow;

Zinc Deficiency

As mentioned above, the lack supply of Zinc is called hipozikemia which means Zinc deficiency. This particularly occurs on those who do not pay much attention on meal menu or those who are doing strict vegetarian and frutarian diet with low protein principle. That kind of diet is actually ok as well as the dieters do not forget about what their body needs to be able to work well and could be smart in combining various types of food for one meal time.

Anyway, the following list informs some bad effects of zinc inadequacy. Some of them are commonly found at our surrounding.

  • Many types of infection

Those who have Zinc deficiency tend to be fragile to any type of infection, either outside or inside the body infection. This is closely related to the decreasing level of immune system and any problem in body metabolism. The skin care assured by Zinc supply is also the thing to consider.

  • Hair-fall

This accords with one function or benefit of Zinc on hair care. If the hair care could not be well-conducted or balanced between the inside or outside care, any damage or hair problem could be found, one of which is hair fall, the most common problem of hair care. For your information, hair fall is not only about beauty. It is more about health as it reflects the body metabolism and the ‘work’ of body organs.

  • Loss appetite

There are many possible causes of loss appetite and Zinc deficiency could be one of them. If you suffer loss appetite and your are not accustomed to have it your days, you could consider about the Zinc deficiency.

  • Crude skin and acne

Having this problem is common for those who like to have direct and intense contact with both sun light and dust. For preventing those two common skin problems happen, you could combine using skin care cosmetic and consuming Zinc source foods. As mentioned above, Zinc plays a very big role in regeneration and rejuvenation of skin so if you find your kin crude and acne is at your face, you should evaluate about your Zinc consumption.

  • Lack ability to see in the darkness

This is closely related to the eye care as Zinc plays a very important function both for its own essence and in helping the vitamin A ‘working’ good for the eye. It is even said that vitamin A could not work at maximum without the hand of Zinc.

  • Long time recovery of wound

If you have outer wound and you take very long time for its recovery, it is normal if you begin to evaluate your skin supply, particularly from Zinc.

Daily Need of Zinc

An adult averagely needs 15 mg zinc for each day. If this number could not be well covered, some health problems could occur ranging from appetite loss, late maturity, impotency, hair fall, fragile on any kind of infection and disease. At the opposite, the excess of supply of Zinc could also cause various health problems ranging from stomach problems and vomit to heart problems and even stroke.

Bad Effect of Zinc Excess

Excess consumption of Zinc is neither advisable although the symptom of this excess consumption is rarely found. This is closely related to the ability of human body to do so called homeostasis, which is auto adjustment with body need. Meaning to say, human body would automatically detract Zinc supply when the excess consumption happens. However in some cases, excess consumption symptom is inevitable and it ranges from diarrhea, vomit and cramp on abdominal area.

Some sources that when the symptoms come, do not need to worry because at relatively close time, body would adjust the supply. Exception particularly applies for those who suffer some diseases such as liver problem.

For the closing of this writing, at least you have to know this information. First, there is no exact detector on Zinc supply in a body so when you suffer any symptom of Zinc deficiency, it could be related to Zinc supply or others. Therefore, do not make it complicated and simply cover your Zinc daily need properly. Second, it would be far better if you provide Zinc essence from the natural material instead of packaged supplement. However, if you tend to choose packaged supplement, choose any supplement with zinc gluconat as it has low level of cadmium. Cadmium itself, when consumed continuously, could give bad effect on kidney.