Table of contents:
Video: 10 Foods Rich In Zinc Against Viral Infections
Faced with the lack of treatment against the coronavirus (covid-19) and the speed of its progression, psychosis sets in, while giving way to many rumors about so-called miracle home remedies that would help fight infection. However, boosting the immune system during an influenza pandemic is always a good idea! The first way to help your defenses is to get your fill of vitamins A, C and D, iron and zinc, which you can find very easily on your plate. Discover the most effective zinc-rich foods against viral infections!
Foods rich in zinc to fight viral infections
Although zinc deficiency is not very common, unlike vitamin B12 deficiency, this mineral is very important for the proper functioning of the body. What's more, it is involved in more than 200 enzymatic reactions, including the regulation of gene expression. It is also very important for the immune system.
Almost 10% of the French population lacks zinc. People with a deficit are usually vegetarians and vegans, the elderly, people with digestive and intestinal disorders, people with chronic liver disease, etc. Fortunately, zinc is found in many everyday foods. It is therefore very easy to fill up with this trace element during a pandemic!
Zinc requirements per day by age and sex
But just before we tell you where to find it, how much zinc do you need per day? Even if they are modest, the contribution of this mineral is of crucial importance for the body.
Babies 0-6 months = 2 mg
Babies 7 months-3 years = 3 mg
Children 4-8 years = 5 mg
Children 9 -13 years = 8 mg
Adolescents 14 -18 years = 11 mg
Adolescents 14-18 years = 9 mg
Men 19-50 years = 11 mg
Men 50 years and over = 11 mg
Women 19-50 years = 8 mg
Women 50 years and over = 8 mg
Pregnant women = 11 mg
Nursing women = 12 mg
Why eat foods rich in zinc?
As mentioned, zinc is a mineral allowing the synthesis of prostaglandins, which in turn derive from Omega fatty acids (3 and 6) and have an anti-inflammatory role by protecting the body from the harmful effects of viral infections. In addition, zinc boosts the production of T lymphocytes and promotes their activation. Therefore, it has a relatively impressive anti-infective action.
In addition to its beneficial effects on the immune system, the trace element also maintains the skin and hair in good health. It promotes healing and skin repair. In this context, the right zinc intake is required to fight against acne, psoriasis or eczema. As for the hair, it promotes shine and strength.
Zinc also helps preserve the senses of taste and smell. This is why it is widely used to treat taste disorders, remembered by the coronavirus or following more aggressive drug treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Considered an antioxidant, zinc allows the body to fight against free radicals. Thus, it preserves the cells from premature cellular aging.
Where to find zinc? Foods to choose from
As a general rule, shellfish and crustaceans are particularly rich in zinc! Consequently, among the foods richest in this trace element, we find oysters, which contain more than 22 mg of zinc per 100 g, and which thus arrive at the top of the list.
However, these are not the only foods to meet your intake. Meat thus contains this trace element: liver (4.5 mg per 100 g), beef (6.5 mg per 100 g) and veal (4.5 mg per 100 g). We can, moreover, find zinc in more surprising foods such as cocoa, curry and pumpkin seeds!
What are the " put" and "enemies" of zinc?
To better absorb zinc, it needs to be combined with the right vitamins and minerals. This is, for example, the case for histidine, vitamin B6 and cysteine, useful for the synthesis of molecules transporting zinc. On the other hand, there are conditions and elements "enemy" of zinc which disturb its absorption.
So, when you take zinc, the intake of calcium, phosphorus and copper in large quantities should be avoided. Ditto for too sweet foods, increasing zinc requirements, and cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, promoting urinary zinc excretion. Other foods reducing the absorption of the latter are: sugary cereals, sprouted seeds, fruits and pulses.
Red meats and organ meats are generally the foods highest in zinc. But zinc from animal sources is more different than zinc from plant sources, which is found in rye. That from meat is indeed better assimilated by the body. Among the richest meats are veal liver (13.2 mg / 100 g), ground beef (10.5 mg / 100 g) and pork shoulder (7.52 mg / 100 g). When or beef, it is best to eat it raw (in tartare) or rare in order to get an optimal dose of zinc.
Whether hard, scrambled or raw, eggs are very high in zinc. But if, however, you want to replenish this mineral, please prefer scrambled eggs. Add a slice of salmon, truffles or avocado for a light, springtime meal.
After eggs and calf's liver, dairy products are also very rich in zinc. So, among the most zinc-packed dairy products, cheeses, such as mozzarella and cheddar, are the most important. Milk and yoghurt are also known sources, but in smaller quantities.
Another good source of Zn for vegetarians and vegans is dried shiitake. Japanese mushrooms contain around 7.66 mg per 100 g and are great in soup or as a garnish.
Toasted wheat germ
At around 17 mg per 100 g, wheat germ also falls into the category of foods high in Zn. Available in organic or health food stores, it goes well with several meals and foods, such as cheeses, mixed salads and cereals.
Although it is rarely eaten, unlike wheat germ, roasted pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc and contain around 7.64 mg per 100 g. Delicious and healthy, they are perfect to add to sweet and savory meals: pumpkin soup, mixed salad, homemade cereal bars.
Thanks to their high zinc content, chickpeas allow the body to assimilate well to store insulin. That is why, they are great for people with diabetes. In the form of grains or flour, this legume strengthens the immune system. A key element in oriental gastronomy, chickpeas contain a lot of nutrients, such as fiber, protein and vitamins. To reduce the zinc deficit, nothing like a small bowl of Lebanese hummus.
Lentils, on the other hand, are a superb source of zinc for vegetarians and vegans. In salads, mashed or cooked, inviting lentils on your plate is very easy.
Besides oysters, crabs (7.62 mg per 100 g) and lobster (5.67 mg per 100 g) also have good zinc contents. However, oysters obviously occupy the first place. And just like beef, it is best to eat these shellfish raw. With a platter of oysters, crabs or other seafood, the daily dose of zinc is very easily reached.