The Benefits of Zinc For Your Health

The mineral zinc plays an important role in producing cells that help us stay healthy. Zinc helps to boost the immune system, creates new skin cells, encourages healing, and helps protect against vision loss. Although moderate doses of zinc can enhance immunity, high doses can actually depress it and should be avoided. In general, Dr. Weil recommends 15 mg of zinc daily for most of us - or up to 30 mg daily if you follow a vegetarian diet, or simply don.t eat many foods of animal origin (vegetables and fruits provide very little). The best plant sources of zinc are legumes (dried beans, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, lentils, and peas), soy products and whole grains. Red meat and cooked oysters are good animal sources. Some dairy products and foods high in calcium can decrease zinc absorption, while protein-rich foods can enhance it. Because copper can be depleted when taking zinc supplements, Dr. Weil recommends a multivitamin supplement that includes both zinc and copper, taken with a meal to avoid stomach upset.