Zinc is an essential trace mineral required by every cell in the body. Zinc deficiency is prevalent worldwide and can contribute to many health problems, such as poor neurological function, weakened immunity, allergies, thinning hair, leaky gut, chronic fatigue syndrome, changes in taste and smell, weight gain/loss, rashes, and acne. Some research also shows that low levels of zinc may be linked to infertility and low testosterone.
A study published in Nutrition on Science Direct showed that the majority of patients who were placed on a zinc restriction for 20 weeks and then supplemented with zinc had increased serum testosterone levels. Zinc also plays a role in the production of hormones and therefore impacts testosterone production and may also affect libido.
Zinc can be found in animal foods, grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. However, animal sources (meats, seafoods, eggs) contain zinc that is more bioavailable and therefore absorbed and used by the body more readily. The foods highest in zinc are pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, lamb, cashews, chickpeas, mushrooms, chicken, yogurt, and spinach.
What we eat affects our physical and mental health. Eat a well-balanced diet with lean meats, fruits, vegetables and water to avoid imbalances in the body. Zinc is just one example to show how vitamins and minerals are needed in the body for optimal health.