What Is Zinc? Zinc is an essential mineral that's vital to growth and your body's good health.
What Does It Do? Zinc strengthens your immune system and helps it fight off bacteria and viruses. Your body also uses zinc to build DNA and proteins. You even need zinc for fully-functional senses of taste and smell!
How Much Do I Need? Most adults need between 8 and 11 milligrams of zinc per day. Those needs increase in pregnant and lactating people, and decrease for children. Here's a detailed chart of zinc needs, based on age and life stage.
What Foods Contain Zinc? Fish, shellfish, poultry, meat, and dairy all contain zinc, as do many whole grains and legumes, along with certain fortified foods.
Want a handout with a summary of these fun facts? Look no further: Meet Micronutrients: Zinc
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.