In today’s world, meeting our zinc requirements from food alone is much harder than it was even 50 years ago.
Zinc used to be present in our soil. As such, we obtained it gradually across the day in foods such as fruits and vegetables. Even grain-based foods such as breads and cereals provided us with a small dose.
Due to conventional farming practices, most soils in Australia and New Zealand are now deficient in zinc (unless the farmer is actively putting zinc back into the soil). And, as you know, if a nutrient is not in the soil, it cannot be in our food.
Here’s something you might like to consider:
Women require 8 milligrams (mg) and men require 14mg of zinc each day—just to prevent a deficiency.
These are the minimum amounts needed to avoid developing symptoms of zinc deficiency such as skin rashes/dermatitis, hair loss, diarrhoea, poor appetite, blunted sense of taste and impaired immune function, just to name a few.
Our best food sources of zinc are oysters and red meat. Zinc is also found in small amounts in seeds (pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds), lentils and eggs. Seeds contain about 2mg of zinc per 30 gram (g) serve, half a cup of lentils contains around 0.9mg of zinc and one egg contains 0.5mg of zinc. Given that most people don’t eat oysters regularly, let’s look at beef as an example.
Beef contains around 7mg of zinc per 100g cooked, so for a woman to meet her minimum requirements, she would need to eat at least 800g of cooked beef per week. Men would need almost 1.5kg of cooked beef per week to meet their minimum needs.
Yet, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommends that we limit our intake of red meat to 500g per week to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
And these amounts don’t even consider how much of the zinc we are actually absorbing. There are a number of factors that can impair our ability to absorb zinc, which means we may need to eat even more to ensure our body gets enough.
Some of these factors include:
- Pairing your meal with a glass of wine, or even a tea or coffee
- A high dairy intake
- High fibre intake
- Use of antacids or other common medications to reduce stomach acid/reflux
- Taking iron, folic acid or calcium supplements
- Substances that are present in grains, legumes and seeds, which can block zinc absorption
- The cooking process, which can make the zinc less able to be absorbed
So how on earth are we supposed to get our zinc these days?
The reality is that most of us aren’t getting enough from our diet alone. Zinc deficiency is now one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. This leads to both minor and major health issues.
To address this growing issue, we scoured the world for an organic and sustainable plant source of zinc. The result: Bio Blends Organic Zinc, extracted from guava leaves and concentrated to ensure you meet your minimum daily zinc requirements.
Each capsule provides 15mg of zinc which is equivalent to around 200g of cooked beef. All concentrated in one convenient little vege-capsule!