Zinc is an important mineral for the body and is known to be a component involved in bone development. However, not everyone knows how to supplement zinc for optimal results. Let’s explore the role of zinc in height and ways to supplement zinc to meet the demand for improving physique through the following article.
What is zinc?
Zinc is an important mineral that is necessary for many normal body functions. The immune system, blood clotting, wound healing, taste and smell, thyroid function, growth and development are the main functions that Zinc contributes to. Zinc is present in most cells, especially in muscle and bone cells. Zinc helps cells divide, and is also needed for the activity of enzymes, proteins and DNA. Our body cannot produce Zinc and it needs to be supplemented through daily diet.
The role of Zinc in height
Zinc is present in mineralized tissues, including bones and cartilage. Increased levels of Zinc in bone tissue help to enhance the process of bone mineralization. Phosphorus utilizes Zinc as a factor in bone mineralization. Some studies indicate that a Zinc deficiency in the diet is related to a reduced rate of bone growth and a decrease in the circulation of growth hormones.
Zinc is distributed in the body in the following proportions: 57% in muscle, 29% in bone, 6% in skin, 5% in the liver, 1.5% in the brain, and 0.1% in the serum. This is also why Zinc plays a balancing role in bone metabolism, necessary for normal development of both height and thickness of bones. Children and adolescents who wish to achieve optimal height need to meet the daily requirements of Zinc: 5mg of Zinc for children under 4 years old, 10mg for children aged 4-13 years old, and 15mg for children over 13 years old and adults.
Other health benefits of Zinc include:
Improving immune function
Zinc is an important mineral for cell function, including immune cells. Adequate Zinc supplementation helps to boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress. A strong immune system is essential for the body to fight off bacterial and viral infections from the environment. Reducing the risk of disease can lead to optimal growth and development, as well as overall better health.
Improving wound healing
There are many types of drugs or treatments that use Zinc to treat burns, ulcers, and other skin wounds. Zinc can help the body accelerate wound healing by participating in collagen synthesis, enhancing immune function, and inflammatory reactions. 5% of Zinc in the body is found in the skin to perform this task.
Reducing the risk of multiple diseases
Some age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection, macular degeneration, and osteoporosis, can occur at any time as you age. Regular Zinc supplementation helps to reduce oxidative stress and improve immune responses to protect the body from infections.
Zinc has the effect of reducing oxidative stress and decreasing the level of inflammatory proteins in the body. This effectiveness helps to prevent the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, depression, cancer, and also contributes positively to improving the condition of acne – an inflammatory skin condition. Many acne treatment products also contain Zinc as a component.
Improving bone health
High levels of Zinc help to increase bone density and optimize bone mass. Ensuring that minerals are present in bones helps to make them stronger, prevent osteoporosis, and reduce the risk of fractures. Strong bones enable you to participate in physical activities throughout the day. This is also favorable for children and adolescents to achieve optimal growth and ideal height when they reach adulthood.
Good for nerves
The lack of Zinc and important nutrients is said to be the cause of headaches, scalp itching, and other peripheral nerve diseases. If you supplement enough Zinc, you can prevent symptoms related to nerve disorders. Zinc also has a beneficial effect on enhancing cognitive function, helping you improve thinking and memory.
What are the harms of Zinc deficiency in the body?
In fact, Zinc deficiency is very rare, but it can still occur in mutated genes or people using immune-suppressing drugs. Symptoms of Zinc deficiency in the body include poor growth and development, delayed sexual maturation, skin rash, prolonged diarrhea, slow wound healing, uncontrolled behavior, thinning hair, poor taste and smell, dry skin…
Zinc deficiency also leads to weakened immunity, susceptibility to diseases, and a tendency to frequently use medication to treat illness. Children who lack Zinc are likely to suffer from malnutrition, which sometimes also occurs in adults. Because Zinc has excellent antimicrobial properties, when the body lacks Zinc, you are more likely to be infected, including skin and internal infections. Those who are Zinc deficient are also more prone to inflammation in all organs of the body.
Foods that are rich in Zinc
Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb are an excellent source of Zinc. For instance, a 100g serving of beef contains about 4.8mg of Zinc, 176 calories, 20g of protein, 10g of fat, along with iron, vitamin B, and other essential nutrients. However, consuming processed red meat in large amounts can affect the cholesterol levels in the body. Therefore, it is advisable to include red meat in moderation in a healthy diet.
Shellfish such as oysters, crabs, and clams are a low-calorie and healthy source of Zinc. Three medium-sized oysters can provide about 16mg of Zinc. 100g of Alaskan King Crab contains 7.6mg of Zinc, and shrimp or mussels can also supply around 15% of the daily Zinc requirement for a 100g serving. Limiting the use of spices and oil when cooking these foods will help preserve their nutritional value.
Legumes and Seeds
Green beans, lentils, and other legumes contain a significant amount of Zinc. A 100g serving of cooked lentils can provide about 12-15% of the daily Zinc requirement. Legumes also provide good amounts of protein and fiber and can be added to soups, salads, or stews. However, legumes also contain phytate, a substance that inhibits Zinc absorption, making Zinc from legumes harder to absorb than Zinc from animal sources.
Another plant-based source of Zinc is nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, cashews, pine nuts, and almonds. 30g of hemp seeds can provide 27-37% of the daily Zinc requirement, and a serving of 28g of cashews can provide 15-20% of the daily Zinc requirement. In addition to increasing Zinc levels, nuts and seeds are also rich in fiber, healthy fats, and other minerals and vitamins that can help maintain a healthy diet.
Milk and dairy products
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in nutrients, including Zinc. The Zinc in cheese and milk is highly bioavailable, making it easy for the body to absorb. A serving of 28g of cheddar cheese can provide 9-13% of the daily recommended Zinc intake. A 250ml glass of milk can contain about 9-12% of the Zinc needed per day. Choose low-fat or fat-free milk products to avoid excessive sugar intake, which can negatively affect height growth.
Eggs contain a moderate amount of Zinc that can contribute to daily Zinc needs. One large egg can provide 4.8-6.6% of the daily recommended Zinc intake. Eggs also contain 77.5 calories, 6.3g of protein, 5.3g of healthy fats, vitamin B, vitamin D, selenium, choline, and other nutrients that contribute to height growth.
Brown rice, oats, wheat, barley, and other whole grains contain some Zinc. In addition, whole grains provide important nutrients such as vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and other minerals that are vital for a healthy diet. However, like beans, whole grains also contain phytate, which makes Zinc absorption more difficult for the body.
Did you know that dark chocolate contains a significant amount of Zinc? A 100g bar of dark chocolate contains 3.3mg of Zinc and can be a good Zinc supplement. However, the amount of dark chocolate consumed should be reasonable, as it also contains a lot of calories and sugar, with approximately 598 calories and 24g of sugar per 100g serving.
While not the best source of Zinc, vegetables, fruits, and root crops can contribute to daily Zinc intake. 100g of curly kale provides 2.5-3.5% of the necessary Zinc per day. Eating a lot of green vegetables also helps to supplement fiber, which helps balance nutrients in the body, improves digestion to absorb nutrients more easily.
In summary, Zinc is an important mineral that contributes to height growth and overall health. Zinc can be supplemented through the foods we have just shared above. To achieve optimal height growth rate, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle that includes meeting the necessary nutrient intake, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and creating a healthy living environment.