Zinc… For All That You Are

Zinc is a part of every cell in your body; it’s essential for optimal growth and development, strong immune systems, better brains and healthy pregnancies. Enjoying zinc-rich foods, like Canadian beef, can help your body be the best it can be!

Do You Get It?

One of the best ways to make sure you are getting enough zinc is to enjoy 2-3 servings of Meat and Alternatives each day. That’s because zinc, although found in many foods, is best absorbed from animal sources, like Canadian beef, poultry or fish.

Did You Know?
Some people need to take extra care to make sure they are getting enough zinc. For example, mom’s-to-be and breastfeeding moms need more zinc for a healthy pregnancy and their developing baby. And, vegetarians who limit zinc-rich foods, like meat, poultry, fish and seafood, may need up to 50% more zinc.

A registered dietitian can help you make healthy food choices to make sure you are meeting your needs.

1Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. National Academy Press, Washington. 2001

Good Eats for Zinc

Zinc Robbers
Plant foods are a major part of healthy eating, but compounds (phytates) found in some plant foods, like soy products, whole grains and lentils, can limit your body’s ability to absorb zinc.

Zinc Boosters
High quality protein from animal foods improves zinc absorption from plant foods. So, add a little steak to stir fries, salmon to salads and poultry to your pastas for a zinc boost!

Especially for Kids

Everyone needs zinc, but young children are especially vulnerable to zinc deficiency.

Getting enough zinc can be challenging for young children with smaller appetites; even mild zinc deficiency may lower resistance to infection and limit a child’s growth.1,2

One serving of Canadian beef will meet the daily zinc needs of a young child (1-8 years). A serving is about the size of two lipsticks. Don’t think the kids can eat that much in one sitting? Split it up – have a smaller portion of thinly sliced roast beef wrapped around cheese or breadsticks for lunch and spaghetti with a couple of meatballs for dinner.

1 King JC. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;71(5 Suppl):1334S-1343S
2 Hambridge M. J Nutr 2000;130:1344S-1349S
Taken from: http://www.beefinfo.org/Default.aspx?ID=13&ArticleID=91&SecID=3