A simple nutrient; a potent force for good…
The human immune system is a highly complex system. It’s made up of BILLIONS of microscopic cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, antibodies, T-cells, beneficial bacteria, lymphocytes, and so many more. Our bodies fight dozens of diseases and pathogen incursions every day. You have no idea how much work your immune system does to protect you, but it’s working 24 hours a day.
According to a new study, there’s a simple way to send reinforcement to your immune system. By eating just a small amount of zinc every day, you can boost your immunity significantly.
The study, from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, examined DNA strand breaks—a parameter of DNA damage. This DNA damage is an indicator of many things, from disease to inflammation to oxidative stress to infections. It was discovered that a very small quantity of zinc, just 4 mg more per day, was enough to reduce DNA strand breaks.
4 milligrams of zinc is NOT a whole lot. A single serving of grass-fed beef (3 ounces) contains 4.9 milligrams of zinc. 1 cup of chickpeas contains close to 7 milligrams of the vital nutrient. It’s definitely not difficult to add more zinc to your diet. But, as the study above proved, just that small amount can make a huge difference in your health.
Not only will zinc help to protect your DNA strands from breakage, but it will serious reduce the risk of health problems. Zinc will protect your cells, reducing the risk of disease, infection, and degradation. It will improve your immune system, encourage healthy cellular growth, and fight chronic disease. Basically, it’s your first line of defense against all manner of diseases.
READ MORE: 12 Health Benefits of Zinc
How can you get more zinc in your diet? Here are some of the best zinc foods to eat:
- Cocoa powder—Yes, you SHOULD be eating chocolate! A single tablespoon of cocoa powder contains 0.3 milligrams of zinc. Add it into your desserts to improve your health—and give you an excuse to have more tasty treats.
- Chicken – Just three ounces of poultry will deliver 2.25 milligrams of zinc, 15% of your daily value. Add another slice of chicken to your plate to increase your zinc intake.
- Pumpkin seeds – In ¼ of a cup of pumpkin seeds, there is 2.5 milligrams of zinc. You can mix the seeds into your salads or cereals, or simply eat them as a tasty snack.
- Spinach – 1 cup of spinach will deliver 1.4 milligrams of zinc. The beauty of spinach is that it can cook down nicely, making it easier to eat. Add at least three or four cups of spinach to your daily meals to increase your zinc, iron, folic acid, and fiber intake.
- Mushrooms – A single cup of mushrooms will deliver 9% of your daily zinc value, or 1.4 milligrams. Mushrooms are hearty, meaty, and add more fiber and antioxidants to your diet. Definitely sprinkle them on your pizza, in your pasta, or even eat them raw on your salads.
- Lamb – Lamb is very rich in zinc, with 4.6 milligrams in 4 ounces of meat. Make more lamb stews, kebabs, and rack of lamb for dinner to get more zinc in your diet. Plus, YUM!
- Kefir/Yogurt – Both kefir and yogurt are excellent sources of zinc. You get 2.2 milligrams of zinc in a single cup of either dairy products.
If you want to fight disease and stay healthy, it’s time to start adding more zinc into your diet. Thanks to these zinc-rich foods, it’ll be easy!