Zinc is an extraordinarily versatile mineral with multiple functions. It forms part of more than 100 growth enzymes, vitamin A activity and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes. The majority -60%- of zinc in our bodies is found in our muscles. It also has important antioxidant properties.
Zinc is essential for immune system development and functions, as well as for childhood growth and development. We need it to maintain our sense of taste, and therefore, our appetite; it helps in the healing of wounds and in proper fetal development in pregnant women, among other important functions.
It is also necessary for healthy skin, nails and hair, as a significant proportion of the zinc in our bodies is found in the skin.
A deficiency of zinc prevents wounds from healing properly and hair and nails from growing strong and healthy. It is often used in baby creams due to its ability to help heal skin problems.
Zinc is present in many foods, and is generally associated with protein. Meat, fish, oysters, milk and pulses are all important sources of zinc.
It has been shown that over the past few years in Spain we are consuming less zinc in our diet, and that we are barely covering 85% of our daily zinc requirements.
This mineral is present in our diet in grains (36%), meat (27%), dairy products (14%), vegetables (6.6%) and pulses (4.2%)