Health Tip: Your Body Needs Zinc

ByAnne Thompson
March 20, 2009, 11:02 AM

Mar. 21 -- (HealthDay News) -- Zinc is an important mineral found in almost every cell in the human body.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health says that zinc stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body.

Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Zinc is found in lots of foods, and oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other. But if you can't get your hands on oysters or don't like them, there many alternatives.

Red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products.

Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

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