March 14, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
ZINC! A mineral that although may be essential, is often overlooked. Both girls, and boys fall short in consuming enough foods rich in zinc, which is integral to normal growth and development. A diet deficient in zinc can have adverse effects on the body such as weakening immunity, and causing a longer recovery from minor cuts. It is recommended that boys meet a requirement of 15 milligrams a day, while girls should be meeting 12 milligrams, however only 2 in 3 teenage boys, and 3 in 4 teenage girls do.
Although it is easy to meet requirements through a multivitamin, there are many food sources of zinc that should be included in the diet. Lean red meats, chicken, and fish are ideal sources; however, much of the zinc in breads, fruits, and vegetables, are not always fully absorbed, which is why vegetarians are typically prone to a zinc deficiency.
Best Food Sources of Zinc:
- Meats: lean beef, pork, liver
- Dairy products: nonfat dry milk, cheese
- Poultry: chicken, turkey
- Shellfish: particularly oysters.
- Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, squash, watermelon, lentils.
- Nuts: peanuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts.
- Yeast-leavened whole-wheat breads and bread products.
- Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals.
- Dry beans.