How does zinc support a healthy immune system?

This mighty mineral supports the immune system by enabling the synthesis of nucleic acids that are essential for cellular repair. Some studies have shown that zinc may reduce the duration of cold symptoms as well. While the most traditionally cited sources of zinc include oysters, Dungeness crab and red meat, other often-overlooked, healthy sources of zinc are soybeans, nuts and seeds. Researchers speculate that soy and nut consumption protects many vegetarians from zinc deficiency, given that they aren’t able to derive it from animal sources.

Other zinc sources include peas, lima beans, summer squash, potatoes, corn, Napa cabbage, bok choy, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.

Continue Learning about Minerals

Calcium Where You Least Expect It
Calcium Where You Least Expect It
If you don't do dairy -- or dairy doesn't agree with you -- it's easy to get your calcium in pills. But you miss the extras that you get by eating foo...
Read More
How can I take cobalt?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Cobalt is part of the vitamin B12 molecule. You can take cobalt through several different means....
More Answers
What can happen if I consume too much sodium or phosphorus?
Dariush Mozaffarian, MDDariush Mozaffarian, MD
Having too much of one major mineral can result in a deficiency of another. Calcium binds with exces...
More Answers
Selenium Keeps You Young
Selenium Keeps You Young

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.