Think Zinc!: A Natural Immune Booster
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Think Zinc!: A Natural Immune Booster

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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During cold and flu season, we hear a lot about the immune booster vitamin C. While it’s essential for boosting your immune system, you can take additional natural measures like sleeping more, washing your hands more frequently, and ensuring you’re eating a healthy, well balanced diet before reaching for that over-the-counter medication. Another way to stay healthy is to ensure you are getting enough zinc in your diet. While studies are mixed, some research shows that upping your zinc intake could help you feel better faster. Here are a few health facts about zinc:

Zinc is a mineral found in just about every cell of your body. Its function is to help your body resist infection and attack free radicals. Zinc is also necessary for proper tissue repair. Increasing the amount of zinc you take could prevent a cold or flu virus from invading your cells and taking over. It could also prevent viruses from attaching to the lining in your nose.

Ensuring you get enough zinc in your diet is pretty easy. There are several zinc supplements you can find at your local drugstore. However, there are plenty of ways to get it from a natural, healthy diet. Zinc is found in beef or other red meats. It can also be found in shellfish, nuts and seeds, milk, cheese, and beans. If you’re looking for an easy way to add it to any meal, wheat germ is a good source of zinc. It’s great for sprinkling on top of your cereal , salads, or veggies. You can also indulge in some dark chocolate for a delicious zinc boost.

Like many things, too much of something isn’t necessarily better. You want to be sure you don’t take more than 40 mg of zinc each day. Side effects of excessive zinc could include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.