Exercise is great for so many things, but sometimes it can deplete you of crucial nutrients. It’s up to you to be “nutrition-smart” so you can continue reaping the dynamite benefits of exercise!
Let’s talk zinc
Zinc is an essential micronutrient, available widely in food and also included in many multi-vitamin/mineral supplements. It’s crucial for:
- Immune function; keep colds and flu (and worse) at bay
- Optimal metabolism; unexplained weight gain could be the sign of a deficiency
- Blood sugar balance; the ever present challenge in a world of refined carbs
- Wound healing; you want this speedy and effecient, especially into old age
- Testosterone production: both girls and guys need T for muscle growth
Exhaustive exercise, and the sweating that accompanies it, can deplete zinc stores as reported in a study of professional athletes. Supplementing with zinc for four weeks had positive effects on plasma zinc, testosterone production and thyroid hormone status. When we’re low on zinc, insulin cannot do it’s job properly and blood sugar becomes disregulated.
Age and zinc absorption
It is known that as we age, our zinc absorption goes down even with sufficient intake from food and supplements. Older women may be more prone to a zinc deficiency than older men. Perhaps the increased dietary intake of calcium in older women for the prevention of osteoporosis competes with zinc for absorption. That’s why you will often see calcium supplements with added zinc.
Boost your zinc with these delicious foods!
- Calf’s liver
- Shitake and crimini mushrooms
- Pumpkin seeds
A good multi-vitamin and mineral or a green smoothie daily is a great way to boost your overall mineral intake.
Love your zinc, love your exercise!
Cassandra Mick, CNE
Read more about Cassandra’s approach to nutrition or schedule a free Nutriton Strategy Session at www.eatwellpdx.com