MINIMUM DAILY NEED:
ESSENTIAL FOR: A healthy immune system, wound healing, our ability to taste and smell, plus healthy growth in children. WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “Zinc used to be in soil, so we’d get small amounts from all grown foods,” Weaver says. “Farming practices have changed so now we have to get it elsewhere. Oysters are the best source. Red meat is good, too, though only offers 4mg per 100g – and cancer regulatory bodies tell us to eat no more than 500g each week. Seeds also contain zinc, but only 0.9mg per 100g, so you’d have to eat a kilo a day! Absorption is also disrupted by fibre, so it’s easy to see why zinc deficiency is so rife.” SIGNS YOU’RE DEFICIENT: Fatigue, falling sick often, wounds taking time to heal and an altered sense of taste. BOOST IT: Crab and lobster are good sources, as are oysters. Zinc is also in red meat, poultry, legumes, nuts and grains. OR TAKE: A daily supplement of 15-30mg, depending on your diet and health issues, Weaver says.