Don’t Ignore These 10 Warning Signs of Zinc Deficiency
What do you know about zinc? This essential trace mineral is much more than just an extra-strength sunscreen. Your body uses it to produce cells and DNA, fight off infections, heal injuries, and ensure proper function of many body systems.
Your body doesn’t store zinc for a longer time like fat-soluble vitamins, so you need a constant supply of this mineral. You don’t need it in large amounts every day, but you do need it in enough quantity.
Zinc is important for:
- Hair growth and skin health
- Immune function
- Metabolism and absorption of nutrients
- Gut health
- Hormone balance
- Mental clarity
- DNA synthesis
- Wound healing
- Eye health
- Even adequate smell and taste
- Proper cell division (which is why it’s crucial during pregnancy)
One research suggests that zinc can even help protect your body against cancer development. The reason why it’s difficult to check your zinc levels is because 90% of this mineral are stored in muscle and bone tissue.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
As you can see, zinc plays many important roles in the human’s body, so insufficient amounts of it can cause many health problems. Here are the most common signs of zinc deficiency.
1. Loss of Appetite
Lack of zinc can impair the sense of smell and taste, thus leading to loss of appetite.
2. Hair Loss
Zinc is vital for the growth and health of your hair, so insufficient amounts can lead to hair breakage and hair loss. What’s more, you may even lose your eyelash and eyebrow hair as well.
3. Skin Prone to Acne and Rashes
Zinc helps destroy free radicals, produce collagen, and deflect UV radiation. All this makes it extremely beneficial for your skin, so lack of it might cause psoriasis, acne, or eczema.
4. Constant Anxiety
According to researchers, this mineral is crucial for mood stabilization. So, if you are anxious all the time, check your diet to see if it includes enough zinc-rich foods.
5. High Stress Levels
Avoiding stress nowadays can be quite challenging. But, you can help control your stress levels by consuming foods high in zinc, as this mineral provides anti-stress effects. So, your stress might be caused by zinc deficiency.
6. Blurry Vision
Zinc helps vitamin A to create the eye-protecting pigment called melanin, thus maintaining healthy retina. According to research, it helps prevent macular degeneration which can severely impair your vision.
7. Achy Joints
As we already said, zinc is stored mostly in your muscle and bone tissue. So, lack of it can make your bones prone to fractures, and your joints feeling painful.
Lack of zinc means a weak immune system which makes you prone to different infections. So, if you get infections all the time, you may want to increase your zinc intake through your diet.
9. Trouble Hearing
One 2010 study showed that people with hearing loss had significantly lower levels of zinc than those who hadn’t. What’s more, another study showed that hearing loss could be treated with zinc supplements.
10. Chronic Diseases
Researchers link zinc deficiency to cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, Wilson’s disease, age-related degenerative diseases, and autoimmune diseases.
Apparently, an insufficient amount of this mineral can increase inflammation and oxidative stress – both of which are closely connected to chronic disease.
10 Best Food Sources of Zinc
You can increase your zinc levels by adding more of the following foods to your diet:
- Grass-fed Beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
- Kefir or Yogurt
- Cocoa powder
If you notice you have the above-listed symptoms, increase your intake of these zinc-rich foods. You can also consult your doctor to consider supplementing with zinc.