Let’s Talk About Zinc, Baby

So Zinc…it’s important to us all.  Zinc is in charge of regulating genetic activities in our bodies, supporting blood sugar and metabolism, and supporting immune system functions.  I came to learn so much about zinc because I was wondering what certain vitamin deficiencies will cause in the body, and thought maybe I was zinc deficient.  One major thing that made me want to do more in depth research was the fact that I was craving so much dark chocolate lately.  I read that it may be because of a magnesium deficiency, but had to look into it more.  More signs are certainly pointing to zinc deficiency.

Grains, beans, and wheat are huge contributors to zinc intake…none of which are paleo, hence, none of which I consume.  Sure, red meat, mushrooms, and dark green veggies also supply zinc, but I don’t eat those everyday (probably should incorporate them into my diet more).  I decided to pick up a 50mg zinc supplement.  When our diet does not provide us with enough zinc, insulin response decreases, making our blood sugar levels more difficult to maintain.  Zinc is essential for reading genetic instructions.  When your diet lacks the zinc we need, those instructions can get misread.  Consuming foods rich in zinc and help you balance blood sugar levels, balance your metabolic rate, support your immune system, and even give you a heightened sense of smell and taste.   Sounds like a good deal to me.

Zinc is integral to our body and it’s functionality.  There’s a lot of benefits of zinc.  I found this website that had 10 benefits listed, I found this interesteing, “#6 Become More Sensitive to Insulin and Prevent Diabetes — Zinc is needed for the healthy function of most hormones, including insulin. Adequate zinc plays at least three roles in insulin health. First, zinc binds to insulin so that insulin is adequately stored in the pancreas and released when glucose enters the blood stream.  Second, zinc improves cell health, making up a component of the enzymes necessary for insulin to bind to cells so that glucose can enter and be used as fuel. The process of insulin binding to the cell is what is referred to with the term “insulin sensitivity” and means that the cell is receptive to insulin. Once insulin binds to the cell, it “opens the door” so that the glucose can enter. If the cell is resistant to insulin, glucose will stay in the blood stream, cause high blood sugar, and ultimately lead to fat gain. When zinc concentration falls, there is a reduction in insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which if persistent, will lead to diabetes.”  If you get a chance, you should go check them out.

If you work out a lot, or you’re an athlete, chances are you will need a higher amount of zinc in your diet.  Sweating will contribute greatly to zinc loss.  Athletes can benefit greatly from zinc because it strengthens their immune system, and it also helps speed up recovery time between workouts (who doesn’t want that?).  Severe zinc deficiencies can compromise functionality of the muscles…so workout people…make sure you’re getting your zinc!  They recommend not going over 50mg a day, but that’s debatable.  They say not to exceed more than 100mg/daily.  I guess everything has critics.  Go see a doctor, and they can get you a blood test to see where you’re at.

By doing a little bit of research, and you can find out a lot of stuff you probably didn’t know.  I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but just keep digging deeper and eventually things should make sense.  Here’s another article by Dr. Emily Deans that I found interesting…Zinc Deficiency and Children with Autism.  Check it out.

At 30, I’m looking to achieve optimum health.  I’m on a mission to make sure I’m getting everything I need to get there.  So far the journey has been amazing.

“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations.  What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

-Stephen Hawking-

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I’m a 36 year old kid at heart. I reached a low point in my life where I felt like I needed to take control before I didn’t have the choice, and that’s when I decided that I needed to change my lifestyle. It’s going to be my life long goal to always achieve optimum health…I am still young after all. Here I am, over one year into my Paleo journey, and I never felt better.

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