Think Zinc!: A Natural Immune Booster
Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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.