Trying to protect yourself from catching a cold or the flu this rainy season? Zinc should be your best friend as it’s a common deficiency in North America. Though I don’t find it necessary to supplement with zinc all year round, I do find it helpful and supportive to the immune system during the changes in weather in the fall and spring. This is especially important if you have kids, since they seem to bring home all the germs in the world!
Our bodies don’t produce zinc, so it’s important to obtain it from the diet. Meat eaters naturally have an easier time finding this important mineral in their diets due to the fact that animal-sourced zinc is more readily absorbed, alongside animal fats. Consuming meat allows this mineral to be passed forward, and many animal feeds have it added exactly for this purpose. That does make it more difficult for us veggie heads out there. I prefer to get as many nutrients as possible from foods, but as the quality of our soil continues to offer fewer nutrients, sometimes supplementation is the best option. MegaFood brand is one of my favourites. Check out their Zinc or Quercetin formulas.
Some of the most zinc-dense food sources are:
- unprocessed grains (whole wheat/rye/ oats)
- nuts (raw and unsalted pecans/brazil nuts)
- legumes (lentils, white/black beans, kidney beans)
- vegetables (peas/carrots/beets/cabbage/ginger)
- pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted and shelled)
Zinc encourages the growth of white blood cells, building your ability to fight against invading germs. Ensuring that you have adequate zinc levels is like recruiting an army of soldiers and arming them with the best weapons. It also supports the growth of tissue, nails, hair, and teeth, and influences the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. Prevention is key, so ask yourself: Who is fighting for your immunity this season?