Health and beauty benefits of zinc

As well as carbs, fats, proteins and vitamins, our bodies need minerals to run smoothly. Key among these is zinc. There are a number of benefits of zinc – it’s essential for immunity, but is also a star player when it comes to skin health.

Read on to discover the benefits of zinc for our skin – including keeping skin firm and acne-free.

Benefits of zinc for our skin

Help to prevent acne

Acne is a common complexion ailment that we often associate with teens. It can endure (or even start) well into adult life. In fact, though those with adult acne can feel that their pimples make them peculiar, the condition actually affects a third of adults.

Interestingly, studies show that, on average, people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc throughout their body. In these cases, loading up on zinc-rich foods may help to reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of pesky P. acnes bacteria. Researchers also believe that zinc helps to regulate sebum production, keeping pores clear and reducing the severity of breakouts.

Try it: Zinc isn’t stored for long periods of time in the body. It’s vital we hit our daily targets. From eggs to shellfish, red meat to lentils, keep zinc front of mind when buying your weekly groceries.

Find out more about acne

Keep skin plump

Approximately 5% of our total zinc content is found in our skin. Here, this mineral helps to build elastin and collagen fibres. Like a bra for the face, these gravity-defying building blocks support the underlying structures of the skin. This helps to keep skin plump, firm and lifted.

We have heaps of these precious proteins in our youth but, as we get older, collagen production slows down and we lose 1% every year. Zinc is essential for maintaining and repairing our collagen stores as it’s one of the main ingredients needed to make the enzymes that bond protein levels together.

Try it: Red meat is a great source of collagen-boosting zinc. Buy your grass-fed beef with bones on. Bones release many amino acids that may also aid collagen production when boiled in broth.

Five zinc-rich foods

  • Oysters: when it comes to zinc, oysters are king. Just six fresh oysters provide 32mg, or 291% of our RDA.
  • Red meat: a 100g serving of raw ground beef contains 4.8mg or 44% of our RDA. Try our recipe for steak tartare.
  • Legumes: though legumes contain high amounts of zinc (100g of cooked lentils contains 12% of our RDA), they contain phytates, which hamper absorption. Try heating, sprouting, soaking or fermenting them for better bioavailability.
  • Eggs: one large free-range egg contains approximately 5% of our daily zinc needs.
  • Dark chocolate: 50g of dark chocolate contains 1.6mg of zinc, or 15% of the RDA.

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