Of all the essential minerals, we’re perhaps the least familiar with zinc, which is strange because it’s super important! This element is required to keep your immune system and cell division running smoothly. While many of us get adequate levels of zinc through our diet, certain populations (i.e., aging adults, vegans, and vegetarians) may be lacking.
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According to researchers from Oregon State University’s Moore Family Center For Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventative Health, diets lacking animal proteins that are also high in legumes and whole grains (which contain phytates that bind and make zinc absorption difficult) risk zinc deficiency. So let’s take a look at some of the most common warning signs of a zinc deficiency…
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Weak Immune System
Mayo Clinic research suggests that zinc is vital to immune health, but research on its impact on immune function is limited. For instance, limited studies link zinc gluconate levels to healthy immune cells.
Further studies claim that low levels of zinc can compromise immune health and leave us susceptible to various bacterial and viral infections (i.e., skin infections, gastritis, ulcers, and flu).