Make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet
You might think you’ve had enough of zinc, but we’re not talking about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who flew from Nevada to Montana at your expense ($12,375) on a private plane owned by the executives of a Wyoming oil-and-gas-exploration firm. When it comes to the micronutrient zinc, well, chances are you actually need more of it!
Several studies highlight zinc’s benefits for your interior health. The Cochrane Library’s Database of Systemic Reviews points out the important role zinc plays in the health of children 6 months to 12 years old. Worldwide, one in every 58 deaths in children under 5 is related to zinc deficiency.
Another study, from Tufts University, focuses on zinc deficiencies in people 65-plus; it found that 30 percent of folks in nursing homes had low serum zinc levels, weakening their immune system and increasing the risk of pneumonia.
A third study, from the University of Texas at Arlington, found that zinc helps prevent many cancers and slows down and stops the growth of esophageal cancer cells.
So how can you get more zinc? (Excess zinc can cause copper deficiency and neurologic disease, so remember that the recommended daily allowances are 11 mg of zinc for men and 8 mg for women; kids need 2-5 mg; teens 8 mg.) You can get your daily dose from foods such as spinach; legumes; flax, sesame and pumpkin seeds; garlic; peanuts; turkey; salmon; whole grains; and dark chocolate. We say dodge zinc from oysters, shrimp, lamb and beef, which are foods that help make your RealAge older.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.