Why Zinc is an Essential Element for Men's Health
Certainly when it comes to food and supplements, I talk about vitamins a lot.
But minerals are as important, and in some cases, even more important, than our friend the vitamin.
And today I want to talk a little about one that's getting more attention these days, zinc.
Zinc is a mineral, and considered an essential nutrient. Which means your body can't produce it on its own, or store it.
So in order to keep your levels up, you need to get a constant supply through your diet.
Now that you know what zinc is, you're probably wondering what it can do, and why it's important. And the answer is... it does a whole lot.
In fact, zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in your body (after iron). Every cell has at least some.
And zinc helps create the enzyme reactions for metabolism and digestion, nerve function, and perhaps most critically, helps your immune system work as it should.
Zinc can also help wounds heal faster, keep your skin clear, reduce oxidative stress in your body, and even support your eyes.
While you can get zinc from your diet, especially from foods like pumpkin seeds, beans, brown rice and mushrooms, plant-based zinc is harder for your body to absorb.
The zinc naturally found in shellfish and meat is absorbed better. All the more reason to work lean meats, fish and other animal protein into a healthy diet.
Of course, supplements that include zinc are also a great boost for immune function, as well as the countless ways your body uses zinc each day.
While both men and women can benefit from additional zinc, it is especially important for men, as it supports prostate health directly. The prostate has more zinc than any other tissue in the body except bones.
Plus, if you exercise, zinc is a good offset to the free radicals that even healthy exercise produces.
So I'm glad more attention is being paid to the benefits of zinc these days. It may come towards the end of the nutrient list alphabetically, but in terms of importance, it's pretty near the top.