Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in many biological processes in our organism.
Consuming foods rich in zinc is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, proper synthesis of proteins, healthier skin, controlling blood sugar levels, the creation of DNA, proper maintenance of the sense of smell and taste and the creation of enzymes.
In the fitness and bodybuilding circles zinc is known as an important mineral for proper muscle growth and plays an important role in each stage of muscle growth.
There are two very important muscle benefits that can be obtained by eating foods rich in zinc.
The first benefit is the ability of zinc to increase testosterone levels (which contributes to increasing overall muscle mass) and the second benefit is that zinc enables better sleep.
Consuming small amounts of zinc followed by regular and intensive training will lead to zinc deficiency in the body.
The following symptoms are the result of zinc deficiency:
- Sleeping problems.
- Slow growth (among children).
- Problems with hair.
- Loss of appetite.
- Dry skin and some skin diseases.
- Loss of sense of smell and taste.
- White spots on the nails.
The lowest recommended daily intake of zinc is 5-10 milligrams, while the highest recommended daily dose is 25-45 mg.
Also it should be mentioned that you shouldn’t consume excessive amounts of zinc because it would disrupt the absorption of iron which can lead to anemia.
The following products contain a great amount of zinc:
- Cocoa and dark chocolate – These two products contain about 6-7 milligrams of zinc in 100 grams or about 50% of the recommended daily intake.
- Pumpkin seeds and watermelon – Pumpkin seeds and watermelon contain about 10 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams. Other seeds that contain a good amount of zinc are sunflower and flaxseed.
- Red meat – besides containing a great amount of zinc, red meat contains a great amount of iron.
- Peanuts – 100 grams of roasted peanuts contain about 25% of the recommended daily intake of zinc.
- Spinach – Although when compared to previously mentioned products spinach has less content it is still considered a product containing a large quantity of zinc given that it is a plant.
- Beans – Beans is an excellent source of zinc from plant origin and is a great choice for all vegetarians. 100 grams of beans contain 3-4 milligrams of zinc.
- Egg yolks – Egg yolks are an excellent source of zinc, other minerals and a variety of vitamins such as vitamin A, E, D and K. 100 grams of egg yolks contain 5-6 milligrams of zinc.
- Turkey meat.
- Brown rice.
- Sesame seeds.