Zinc is a pretty important little mineral. Who doesn’t like to taste things and not be sick? Because Mother Nature is a jerk, it’s almost impossible to get zinc without being very intentional with your diet. You need a measly 11 milligrams per day. It’s not a lot, but most food sources only have small amounts of zinc.
Oysters have the most with 9 milligrams. Are you really going to be downing 1 or 2 oysters every day? Even thinking about that makes me want to throw up. Beef, lamb, scallops, and shrimp are great sources of zinc. But, make sure that beef is grass fed or you’re not going to get nearly the amount of zinc out of it that you think you are. Spinach, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms are good plant sources. Keep in mind though that Beef only has 4mg per serving of zinc and the best plant source spinach only has 1.37mg of zinc. It’s very hard to get through diet. I tell people all the time that nature is out to get you and they don’t believe me. I even use my story about the time I was running and was chased by a honking goose for a quarter mile and still they doubt me. Well, here’s definitive proof. Nature is trying to get you sick by keeping your zinc stores low.
Can you supplement with zinc? Of course you can. This is 2015 America! After this past weekend I’m going back to supplementing. When I was paleo I took an Ionic Zinc supplement made by Trace Minerals and I never, ever got sick. Ionic means that it’s easier for your body to absorb. I took some today. I do not recommend taking this unless you are like me and are hardcore serious about taking your zinc or you like being miserable. It tastes like death. No, worse than death. It’s a taste sensation that’s so horrible I can’t describe it in words. Every time I take it I have to eat a cookie to comfort myself. But, it works! You can also find it in tablet and capsule formats (make sure they’re gluten free!!!). The big thing to watch out for if you’re supplementing is that you don’t have a copper deficiency. Taking zinc could make copper deficiencies worse. As always, make sure to check with your doctor.
Zinc is pretty cool. I wonder if hanging out with it will get me more friends. More friends means more people that could help with Mini-Me when we’re both sick…
Alicia is a super mom, wife, competitive athlete, and freelance writer. Find out more about her everyday adventures by liking her on Facebook.