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Zinc intake for improved health

One of the essential minerals required by the body, zinc is found in almost every cell in humans. The key role that zinc plays is in the stimulation of the activity of over 100 enzymes, promoting various reactions that are needed to occur throughout daily living.

Zinc also helps to promote a strong immune system and is needed for wound healing. Without enough of it in the diet, you will be slow to recover from injuries and find yourself with colds and flu's more frequently. Furthermore, this mineral also helps to maintain your sense of smell and taste.

The foods that are a rich source of this mineral include oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, some seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.

The recommended daily intake is set for 11 mg per day for males over 14 and 9 mg per day for females, from ages 14 to 18, and then 8 mg per day once they reach the age of 19.

When deficiency of this mineral occurs, the signs and symptoms include growth retardation, hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, and the loss of appetite.

The loss of this mineral can come about when one suffers from diarrhea, is involved with heavy drinking, or has digestive disorders such as Crohn's disease or Sprue disease.

So, be sure you are taking the time to ensure you are meeting your needs when it comes to this valuable nutrient.

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