I had chapped lips on-and-off for what felt like YEARS, although in reality it was probably just under a year.
One day, while reading about the power of zinc for healing, I cooked up and ate a ton (well, not a ton; but probably 15) oysters.
The next day I woke up and my lips were TOTALLY healed….no peeling, no cracked corners; and more than that, my energy was great and I just felt really……WELL.
….A strong sense of the body working right.
Now….keep in mind, I already had a very nutritious diet, so if the rest of your diet and lifestyle isn’t in check, one food might not be a silver bullet for you (because all minerals require other vitamins & nutrients to be utilized properly).
Nonetheless, whether or not you have low zinc symptoms (e.g., poor healing, sex drive issues, blood sugar issues, low immunity, autoimmunity, poor digestion, candida, IBS-D, infections), zinc is still an essential nutrient for everyone who wants to get or maintain good health.
This is one reason I insist my clients try to find a way to eat oysters; at least once a week.
Oysters are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, and they are a great source of selenium and B12 too.
But oysters are BY FAR the bomb-diggity (technical term) for a clean and bio-available form of zinc.
For instance, here’s the zinc content of many common foods per 100 grams:
Coconut meat 1,5 mg
Egg noodles 1,6 mg
Millet flakes 1,8 mg
Anchovy salted 1,8 mg
Cocoa powder 5,7 mg
Hard cheese 5,0 mg
Beef medium fat 6,1 mg
Veal cooked 4,7 mg
Popcorn 1,7 mg
Rice 1,5 mg
Peanut butter 3,0 mg
Wheat wholemeal 2,7 mg
Turkey 2,1 mg
Brazil Nut 4,0 mg
Gouda 3,8 mg
Hamburger 3,6 mg
Peanuts 3,4 mg
Sardines 3,2 mg
As you can see, the highest zinc foods are beef and cheese, but even with those you would need to eat 3-5 servings to get enough because absorption is about 1/3rd.
So, when trying to take in 10mg, you actually need eat about 30mg.
With oysters however, one serving (or 100 grams) is anywhere from 30-80mg!
Specific therapeutic Benefits of zinc:
Helps skin retain moisture
Help maintain proper bacteria levels
Help improve glucose tolerance
Improves immunity and protects against flu’s and cold’s
Aids hormone balance
Improves brain function
Helps reduce wasting (muscle loss)
Aids healing and repair of muscle and skin
How much zinc?
Most people look at the RDA for nutrient amounts, but remember the RDA is based upon the bare minimum known to prevent health issues….NOT what’s required for optimal health, so some people may need more.
In general, it’s recommend that men and women get between 8-12 mg a day but sometimes more is needed.
Why you might need more zinc:
You’re recovering from an injury
You’re pregnant (eating for 2).
You have a lot a muscle ( zinc needs are determined largely by lean body mass)
You have poor absorption issue, like Crohn’s or have recently had diarrhea
You’re working out regularly in an attempt to put on muscle mass
Chances are you won’t ever need more than 50mg a day, but a short term supplement (for a week or so) will usually help you know if more is helpful by restoring zinc levels.
Zinc taken alone as a supplement can oxidize other molecules, so don’t rely on a supplement long term; food is always best.
It’s also well known to cause nausea in large amounts, so start slow if you’re sensitive to it, or take it with food.
Some forms of zinc, such as oxide or picolinate are not usually well absorbed.
I like Zinc sulfate or zinc Gluconate, and of course make sure to choose one with as few additives as possible, especially if you have gut issues.
This is what I’ve used when experimenting.
It’s inexpensive, free of risky additives and effective!