When it comes to essential vitamins and nutrients, people often think of iron or magnesium first. However, zinc is also a crucial element (pun intended) of your diet and helps to support many bodily functions from childhood into adulthood.
For example, your immune system wouldn’t be as robust without it, and your children may not grow at a normal pace if zinc wasn’t available. Luckily, zinc can be found in many foods as well as in supplement form, so there’s little reason to miss out on it! Here are some things to know about this oft-overlooked nutrient…
What Exactly Is Zinc?
As WebMD states, zinc is an “essential trace element” (listed on the periodic table as Zn) found commonly in certain foods (which we’ll get to). It is essential because small amounts of it are needed in the body to maintain your health — and your body doesn’t produce it or store excess zinc.
Britannica.com explains that zinc, classified as a chemical element, is found in trace form in the human body and concentrates in red blood cells. It is “an essential part of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which promotes many reactions relating to carbon dioxide metabolism,” it explains.