“Feel bad for me.”
I had a cold all weekend. It was horrible. Not only that, but my son had a cold. So, it was: Alicia (Sick) + Tiny Terror(Sick) + Alone in house all weekend = Nightmare on Elm Street. We barely survived. As I realized comfort food was useless because I couldn’t taste anything, I started to think about how pathetic my immune system is. I mean, put gluten in my body and those cells are ready to destroy EVERYTHING.
However, a cold comes in and they’re like, eh…whatever… This lackadaisical attitude resulted in me getting shingles at 31! Maybe you’re not one who gets sick easily, but I’ve noticed a lot more people are like me. If my neighbor’s dog’s best friend gets sick and I hear about it I get sick too. What can we do to enhance our immune system, show it some love, so we spend less days laying on the couch with dripping noses cursing the universe?
This isn’t just a celiac issue. This is a health issue. Why does everyone seem to get sick all the time? Perhaps it has to do with a mass deficiency of a very important dietary mineral called zinc. You’ll remember that I wrote about the sexy mineral magnesium a few weeks back and I promised more geeky nutrition help for you. Well, here it is! You’re welcome.
Zinc is yet another nutrient that you probably aren’t getting enough of. It’s super, super, super important. Like magnesium, zinc is a cofactor. I wish I was a cofactor. That’s such a cool title. Being a cofactor means that there are over 300 zinc dependent enzymes in your body. Three hundred is a lot. Try to do 300 squats right now and you’ll see how much it is. Zinc is vital in keeping your immune system healthy. A zinc deficiency can result in a measurable and dramatic reduction in your immune system activity. This means you are more susceptible to those back to school colds. Studies have also linked zinc deficiencies to acne, canker sores, facial rashes, eczema, and foot fungus. A severe zinc deficiency can result in loss of taste and smell. A lot of elderly people who lose these senses do so because they are so deficient in zinc. And, it’s critical to vision.
Vitamin A and zinc are central in helping our optical nerves sense light and send those impulses to our brains. If you’re a guy looking to have a baby a zinc deficiency can cause a low sperm count and make those little buggers swing more slowly. Zinc is used by athletes for better recovery. It can also be used to treat ADHD, macular degeneration, cataracts, Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), ulcerative colitis, high blood pressure, and many, many more conditions.
I’d like to go on, but I won’t. Atleast not today. Come back tomorrow for part II of my skinny on the wonders of zinc 🙂
Alicia is a super mom, wife, competitive athlete, and freelance writer. Find out more about her everyday adventures by liking her on Facebook.