Modern day life has us on our toes at all times. We spend so much of our daily waking hours rushing between one task and another, trying to balance work, social and family lives – or simply letting things slip a little because there is just too much to juggle. One of the things that are usually first to slip is making sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. We all think about making sure our children get their five a day – but do we? The truth is that a balanced diet is essential to the smooth functioning of our bodies, so why is it that we have let it slip?
Regardless of how we go about forgetting that we need healthy food too, the fact remains that we need to do something about it! We cannot live a life without getting the correct balance of vitamins and minerals into our systems because, sooner or later, our health will start to suffer.
Vitamins and Minerals are considered the building blocks of life. They are needed for things like protecting your immune system, helping you to digest food, healing wounds and even for the creation of new DNA and cells. Without them we would die – that is how vital it is that your diet is well-rounded and that you get a valid cross-section of these nutrients on a day to day basis.
So now that we know why vitamins and minerals are so important, let's take a look at what Zinc is and how the body uses it!
Zinc is one of many minerals that the body requires. It is vital for many functions, including the reproduction of new DNA. It helps wounds to heal and plays an important role in our ability to taste and smell. Most importantly of all Zinc helps the body fight off infections and viruses on a molecular level, cell by cell. It is present throughout the body.
Zinc can be found in many foods but nuts are an excellent place to start. It is a growth mineral, meaning that pregnant women and young children need more of it than others do, in order to get bigger. This is because it is needed in the construction of new genetic material. There is a slight warning attached to the use of Zinc within nasal sprays used to treat cold and flu symptoms. These sprays may lead to a loss of sense of smell so always check the label.
It is thought that the groups of people most likely to suffer from a Zinc deficiency are alcoholics, vegetarians (one of the main Zinc sources is red meat) and people with gastrointestinal issues. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and skin ulcers are all symptoms of Zinc deficiency. It is thought to be rare out-with the groups mentioned above.
Zinc is used in the treatment of many diseases but can also interact poorly with some medications. So if you are taking a Zinc supplement be wary if you are on medication and always consult your doctor if you are unsure.
Now that we know a little more about what Zinc is, let's identify some nice healthy, vegetarian-friendly sources of natural dietary Zinc!
Healthy Snack Sources of Zinc
This controversial nut sometimes takes a little slack for being unhealthy, but that is not necessarily the case. Peanuts contain lots of healthy vitamins and minerals and are a good source of Zinc. There is 3.3 mg of Zinc in every 100g of peanuts – although we don't recommend that you eat a whole hundred grams since they can be high fat. Try to select peanuts that are as plain as possible. Remember they are an oily nut so they are very high in fatty acids. They also contain Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium, so a little bit goes a long way with regards dietary balance.
A hundred grams of Walnuts will give you a healthy boost of both Zinc and Vitamins. It contains roughly 6% of the adult males recommended daily allowance (or RDA) of Zinc. They are also one of the very few nuts that contain multiple vitamins and make a nice change from the regular trail mix you eat. A few ounces of walnuts eaten at snack time will boost your energy levels and help the body fight off free radicals and other damaging cellular infections.
Almonds are hailed by many as a sort of super nut. When eaten toasted or raw they contain roughly 36% RDA of Zinc – but that's not all. They have 20% of Potassium, 48% of the RDA of Dietary Fiber, 20% of Iron, 26% of Calcium, 67% of Magnesium and numerous other health benefits when consumed. It is our advice that you try to eat an ounce or two of Almonds at least twice a week, just to ensure your body is getting everything it needs.
For those of you that don't like nuts, some fruits do contain high levels of Zinc – but there are only a few. If you are a vegan or vegetarian looking to up your intake through dried fruits, try blackberries and raspberries to start with. guava, pomegranate, dried banana and dried apricots are all great fruits for Zinc, but green fruits tend not to be, so stay away from those apples! We would bet nobody ever told you that before!
So if we have convinced you that you need to up your intake a little to ensure good health, then we know a place that can provide you with all of these tasty treats without making them boring. Snacking doesn't have to be unhealthy, it's just how you snack that needs to change!
Shop Now at L'Orenta's Nuts, where sacking is healthy, fun and only uses the very best of ingredients. L'Orenta's produce high quality, gourmet nut and goodie mixes just for you. So have a look and see what tasty treats they have in store, today!