In this day and age, it is becoming more difficult to trust that we are getting the correct balance of nutrients and minerals from our diets in order to not only maintain health but to prevent disease and aging. Simple deficiencies such as the trace minerals like Zinc, just to mention one, can lead to very devastating health issues. It can also effect fertility. One of the most obvious uses that has become more apparent due to the Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 (the causative virus) is to boost the immune system to help your body to prevent viruses from invading and to help the body to bounce back should you actually get a virus. Zinc is also involved in the function of about 300 enzymes that carry out important actions in the body. Let’s take a look at this video by Brainy Dose to reveal some warning signs that your body needs more Zinc.
So which foods are high in Zinc?
- Red meat and Dark chicken meat- (unprocessed and of the best quality such as from grass fed animals): contains almost 5 mg of Zinc in about a 4 ounce serving
- Broccoli- 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli contains 25mg of Zinc, not to bad!
- Legumes- Chick peas, lentils and beans (remember to soak them to increase Zinc’s bioavailability/amount absorbed and usable by the body). About 100 grams of lentils will give you about 12 % of the daily amount of Zinc required.
- Seeds- Sunflower, Flax, Chia, Squash, Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds are a great source of Zinc but the number one seed that packs the most is Hemp Seed. Hemp seed contains about 10 % of the daily requirement for women and about 15% for men in just one tablespoon.
- Nuts- A high source of Zinc is found in Cashews and they contain about 15% of our daily Zinc needs in 1 ounce/28 grams.
- Dairy- I’m not big on dairy but if we are going to share the top list, it’s a good source of Zinc. Cheddar Cheese tops the chart as providing 28% of our daily Zinc needs in about 100 grams. Also 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt contains about 20% of our needs.
- Eggs- Not a bad source….1 large egg will give us roughly 5% of our daily Zinc requirements.
- Potatoes- Each large potato contains about 1 mg of Zinc, about 9-10% of our daily needs.
- Whole Grains- These would be a great source but because like legumes, there is an absorption problem due to the phytates binding up the Zinc. They still make the list despite that. Some examples include quinoa, oats and rice.
- Dark Chocolate- 100 grams/3.5 ounces of at least 70% dark chocolate contains about 30% of our daily needs. A huge source of Zinc!
The above foods are rich in other things but for now our focus is on Zinc. When these are added to our daily diets in a variety, it is possible to meet our daily requirements of Zinc.
Check out this link and download the ”Food Monster” App for over 15K vegan and allergy friendly recipes to get started on furthering your journey to wellness!!! https://www.onegreenplanet.org/foodmonsterapp/
If I take a supplement, how much is needed?
It is always best to get our nutrition from our food. If you truly feel that you are not getting enough and want to supplement temporarily or long-term due to underlying conditions, this is how much we generally require:
Men: 11 mg per day
Women: 8 mg per day, if pregnancy 11 mg per day, if breastfeeding 12 mg per day
Some people may be at higher risk including: young children, the elderly, teens and pregnant/nursing women.
If you begin taking a supplement, just know that you can over do it. It’s always recommended to speak to your healthcare provider before starting any supplement. Signs of Zinc overdose/toxicity are: headache, fever, passing out, feeling sick, vomiting, blood in your vomit, diarrhea and black feces. All of these are due to copper overload that can result from too much Zinc.
Try my original Broccoli-Mushroom Patties
1 Head of fresh broccoli-blended
plus 5-6 portebella mushrooms-finely chopped.
Season like meat with a bit of paprika, salt, black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon of sesame seed oil, granulated garlic, cumin, a pinch or 2 of dried parsley (all to your taste).
1 clove chopped fresh garlic
3 tablespoons chia seeds
Half a cup or more plant based milk/ drink (add last as much or as little that’s needed for thick patty consistency)
Spelt flour to add texture, about a cup ( can sub other flours but avoid white)
One egg- so ok, not 100% vegan but I still eat eggs sometimes😊
Mix well, bake on olive oiled parchment paper or glass/clay pan
10-15 minutes both sides. Will have a golden-brown color to it with the green broccoli color peeking through.
Optional: Saute onions and bell peppers in olive/avacado oil and serve on pita bread (drizzled with zaatar & olive oil) with your patty and chumus, in a tortilla or whatever you’d like. Add avacado on the side.