Dr. Starkey: Hi, this is Dr. Starkey. Welcome back to Trace Your Day.
This week I’m going to be talking on a topic that we’ve been getting more and more questions on. And that’s on the element of zinc and should I be taking it?
It’s a great question and if we lived in a perfect world with a nutritious, rich, balanced soil we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now because there would be no need. And yet, the topic of zinc keeps coming up.
I think it’s important that it is because here’s a little tiny element that we each have about 2 ½ grams of zinc in our bodies, which is about a half a teaspoon. And when you think about our overall bodyweight that’s pretty small and that’s why it’s called a trace mineral. And yet its role within our health is pretty important.
When it comes to zinc and our overall physical development, especially our development of our reproductive organs, zinc plays a vital role. In fact, virtually every enzyme reaction in the brain involves zinc. That should tell us a little bit of how important this element is to our overall wellbeing.
When it comes to physical stress or emotional stress, this truly takes its toll on our balance of zinc in our bodies. In fact, we usually find that when we’re zinc deficient, it’s self-inflicted. Let me explain: when it comes to these slimming diets or our choices of foods, our choice of beverage and of course, the amount of stress in our life due to our lifestyles. They all play a role in the depletion of our zinc.
The question always comes up, if I were to eat foods, what foods should I be eating and that’s a great question. And yet, I keep going back, and of course I stated it earlier we’re only as healthy as our soil is fertile. Because even though we can eat these foods, unless of course we’re asking the right questions and then test it ourselves, we don’t know the answers to them.
For instance, if you were to eat a quarter cup of walnuts it would have about 0.8 milligrams. Again 0.8 milligrams. If you were to eat, let’s say, some lentils, half a cup of lentils will give us about 1 milligram. If we were to eat some black-eyed peas, a half cup of black-eyed peas would give us about 1.5 milligrams. Pumpkin seeds are probably one of the richest of the seed family. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds would give us about 2.6 milligrams of zinc.
When it comes to our meats, if you were to eat the light meat of chicken, 4 ounces would give us about 1 milligram. Yet, 4 ounces of chicken liver would give us about 3.6 milligrams. A lean cut of beef, 4 ounces would be about 7 milligrams. If you have that lifestyle that you choose not to eat meat of course you saw these small quantities and I think that’s why it’s so important that we’re asking the right questions.
Supplementing with zinc, whether you’re a pregnant or nursing mother, there’s an added need for zinc to be supplemented. Some of our lifestyle choices, the consumption of alcohol will increase the need and demand of our zinc. And yet, I keep going back to probably one of the most important, we call it the silent killer in our society and that is emotional stress.
In the last 2 years we’ve probably experienced more emotional stress than we have ever experienced as a global society. So when It comes to stress, here’s a health condition that of course robs us of our zinc. I think the important topic at hand is what are we doing to make sure we are keeping that proper balance.
We can live without our eyesight, we can live without our taste, we can live without our limbs but we cannot live without our equilibrium. In fact, the richest source of zinc in the human body is found in the middle ear. So when your world starts to spin, there’s probably one of the biggest reasons why we should be educating ourselves on the importance of zinc.
Because yes, if we’re deficient in zinc we will lose or our sense of taste or sense of smell will be dulled. And yet, the symptoms that we’re stressed about today is losing that sense of taste and smell. Even though we find ourselves in an environment that we can choose what we eat, and we can of course help protect ourselves against stress, I believe that its vitally important that we increase our emphasis on zinc so that we don’t find ourselves deficient.
When we start breaking out own health down, if you find yourself dieting, especially the first of the season where we make our new year’s resolution or we’re increasing our workouts, or we’re putting workouts into our schedule, I think that those are key pieces of the puzzles to why we want to supplement with zinc.
Another reason of course would be anybody that supplements a large amount of calcium into their diets. Anytime we increase calcium we should increase our zinc supplement because calcium competes with zinc in the body.
I hope this information is helpful. It’s important that as we keep ourselves well hydrated, as we work our bodies, whether that be brisk walks or in a gym, I think there are some important reasons here as to why we would want to make sure we’re keeping that proper balance of zinc in our diets. Until next week, best of health.
Thanks for listening in. if you have any topics you want covered, let us know on our Instagram Page @tracemineralsresearch. We’ll see you back here next week on Trace Your Day!