Zinc Consumption For Women: Here Is Why You Should Include It In Your Diet
Throughout a woman's life, her body undergoes numerous transformations, including puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. These changes can lead to varying nutritional needs, requiring an increased intake of food. Having the right balance of nutrients is important in preventing or reducing the risk of various diseases, promoting a strong immune system, and sustaining good mental health. Additionally, women have unique nutritional needs due to their hormonal and physical differences.
Zinc is one mineral that plays a significant role in supporting various bodily functions, including the immune system, cellular growth and repair, and hormone production. Women need an adequate amount of zinc in their diet to ensure their well-being.
Adequate amount of zinc for women
Women are advised to consume 8 milligrams (mg) of zinc daily. For men, the recommended intake is 11 mg. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), a commonly used guideline for designing nutritious diets, suggests that the average daily consumption of zinc should meet the dietary requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy adults.
Benefits of zinc for women
Promotes reproductive health - Zinc plays a crucial role in supporting the growth and functioning of the female reproductive system. Additionally, it is responsible for synthesising important hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, which are vital for sexual development, fertility, and maintaining a regular menstrual cycle.
Promotes skin health - The antibacterial properties of zinc help prevent acne, eczema, and other skin issues. It also supports collagen formation, contributing to maintaining healthy skin and reducing signs of ageing.
Supports brain health - Vital for the development and functioning of the brain, zinc plays a crucial role. It participates in the production of neurotransmitters, which are essential for regulating mood and transmitting nerve impulses.
Enhances thyroid function - The thyroid gland relies on zinc to produce and metabolise thyroid hormones, which play a vital role in regulating metabolism, mood, and energy levels.
Supports optimal bone health - Maintaining strong and healthy bones is essential for preventing fractures and conditions like osteoporosis. Zinc is a critical mineral that aids in the creation and maintenance of robust bone structure.
Safeguards heart health - Zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of the heart. It regulates blood pressure and supports the maintenance of strong blood vessels, both of which are vital for a healthy heart.
Protects immune system - Zinc plays a vital role in protecting your immune system against toxins and foreign substances. It is especially important for the development of T-cells, which are essential in combating virus-infected cells and cancerous cells.
Helps in insulin formation - Insulin plays a vital role in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, making it crucial for overall well-being. Zinc contributes to the production, storage, and secretion of insulin in the pancreas. Therefore, insufficient zinc levels may have an adverse impact on insulin regulation, potentially resulting in unfavourable alterations in appetite and blood sugar levels.
Helps in healing process - Zinc plays a crucial role in blood clotting by interacting with blood platelets. Therefore, ensuring an adequate intake of zinc is vital for proper healing of cuts and scrapes. Healing process can differ among individuals, making it difficult to establish a specific time frame for what is considered too slow for healing. However, if you notice a decline in your body's ability to recover from injuries, a deficiency in zinc could be the underlying cause.
Aids in digestion - Zinc collaborates with proteins in all organs and plays a crucial role in supporting approximately 100 diverse enzymes involved in various processes, including digestion. Without zinc, the body's gastrointestinal functions are impaired as it serves as a cofactor in numerous digestive activities. Proper digestion and nutrient absorption become challenging in the absence of zinc.
Period pain - Zinc has shown promising results in relieving period pain comparable to contraceptive pills. Zinc achieves this by reducing inflammation and the production of prostaglandins, while also playing a crucial role in immune-modulating treatments for endometriosis.
Enhances mood - Zinc plays a vital role in the synthesis and control of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, leading to an improved mood and a reduction in symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
Zinc holds great importance for maintaining good health and plays a crucial role in various aspects of childhood development, immune system function, wound healing, and more. To ensure an adequate intake of zinc, it is recommended to rely on food sources like beans, seafood, and fortified products. In cases where there is a risk of deficiency, a doctor may suggest supplements. It is important especially for women to maintain an adequate intake of zinc to support their reproductive health, brain function, immune system, and overall bodily functions.
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