Zinc: Health Benefits & Covid
We all know how the current pandemic has left everyone looking for answers to prevent this viral disease. From following various safety regulations to trying different herbal remedies, we do it all to strengthen our immune systems and avoid infection. But did you know that certain nutrients can actually help you achieve just that and more? Among them, zinc is a prominent essential nutrient that can be a lifesaver in helping you fight off any symptoms or chances of different infections.
So, how are zinc and coronavirus related? This article will discuss how you can strengthen your immune system and make your body strong enough to fight off any chances of infection. Without further ado, let us get started:
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays several vital roles for your body, especially during childhood. Not only does it support growth, but it also helps in supporting your immune system. If a person’s zinc levels decrease, they are more prone to catching diseases and infections.
Zinc has many different jobs, from making proteins and DNA to aiding in wound healing; it's a vital nutrient that the human body needs. Since our bodies don't produce it, we need to obtain it through our diet. It is present in various foods such as fish, meat, and beans and can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
COVID And Zinc:
Owing to zinc’s antioxidant properties and immunity-boosting qualities, several types of research have been carried out to see how beneficial it can be against different infections. A review done during 2020 highlights that zinc helps give the immune system a boost while also maintaining mucous membranes. It has been noted that people who have zinc deficiencies are at a higher risk of getting infections that include pneumonia.
The evidence mentioned above is enough to prove that zinc is beneficial for protecting oneself against COVID and helps in fighting off its symptoms.
So, what is zinc good for?
Benefits Of Zinc For Human Body:
Now that we have determined the relation between zinc and coronavirus, let us take a look at detailed zinc benefits:
We all know how important it is to have a strong immune system to reduce the chances of contracting the coronavirus. This is where zinc comes in; not only does it give your immune system a boost, it also helps to fight off flu-like symptoms. Having low levels of zinc in the body makes people vulnerable to catching pneumonia-like infections.
Zinc is popular for its role in helping you maintain healthy skin. People with low levels of zinc in their bodies usually develop ulcers or wounds. A 2018 research highlights the role that zinc plays in healing wounds and also preventing any infection. This is why healthcare professionals recommend zinc supplements to people.
Helps With Vision:
Zinc is also helpful in protecting the retina from cell damage and may even help delay age-related vision loss. A 2020 research revealed that low levels of zinc might cause age-related macular degeneration. So if you want to preserve your vision, it's better to get your zinc levels up.
Another quality of zinc is that it has antioxidant properties, which helps reduce oxidative stress. There is a strong belief among scientists that chronic diseases like diabetes and blood pressure are strongly related to oxidative stress. A 2018 research states that zinc helps in avoiding metabolic syndrome. Thus, an adequate intake of zinc is essential to maintain a healthy metabolic rate.
It is a known fact that a COVID infection has far worse symptoms in people with diabetes, blood pressure, and other health issues. Having adequate levels of zinc in the body can prove significantly helpful against this viral disease.
According to a study carried out in 2020, there may be a connection between neurological symptoms and low zinc levels. The research was carried out on 63 people who had neurological issues along with low zinc levels. After being treated for their deficiency, they had reported an improvement in their condition. This shows that adequate levels of zinc in the body can help with improving neurological disorders.
We know by now how vital zinc is for maintaining a healthy body and protecting it against a COVID infection. Let’s look at how zinc deficiency can affect your body in other ways.
A zinc deficiency can cause the following health issues:
- Increased risk of getting infections.
- Delayed development and growth in children.
- Lack of appetite
- Stomach infections, including diarrhea
- Fertility issues
- Trouble concentrating
A 2017 Research strongly suggests that a deficiency in zinc makes you more vulnerable to diseases like measles, tuberculosis, malaria, pneumonia, and HIV. A significant cause of zinc deficiency is poor diet; however, it can also be caused due to chronic diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.
Zinc Food Sources:
There are various plant and animal foods that are rich in zinc; these include:
- Meat: Lamb, beef, and pork.
- Fish: Sardines, sole flounder, and salmon.
- Seeds and nuts: Cashews, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
- Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, etc.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc.
So, Is Zinc Good For You?
We can say that it is safe to conclude that adequate zinc levels in the body can largely help in fighting off chances of getting infected with the coronavirus and can also aid in lowering its symptoms.
However, it is crucial that we take all the necessary steps to avoid any chances of being exposed to it. Just remember to follow the safety guidelines when heading out and ensure you stick to a healthy diet.