Zinc is a mineral and micronutrient that is needed for cell growth and division, healing and metabolism of carbohydrates.
The first quality is what makes it such an essential nutrient for our Innate Immunity. As you may know, our body’s first line of internal defense is are the macrophages, pathogen eating cells that patrol our bloodstream looking for intruders. Upon encountering them, they attack and consume as many as they can, taking the information back to our lymph nodes so that our body can mount it’s secondary and more specific response.
Zinc is used in the production of macrophages and some of the cells in our secondary response such as the Natural Killer Cells, and deficiency in this nutrient has been associated with weak initial immune response. 1
It is also needed for healing as we mentioned. High levels of Zinc are conducive to rapid wound healing both internally and externally. This is also important to our immune system as the faster we heal, the less time our body spends weakened and exposed to pathogens.
Given all this information, we should ensure that we get an adequate supply of Zinc through our food. You should consume at least 8mg a day, but no more than 40mg. See the chart below to see the plant based produce that is rich in Zinc.
Malunggay provides 2.5mg per 100 grams, and black rice has about 1mg per 100g. Dairy provides some zinc, and cheese, eggs and milk are all sources. Shellfish are very rich in the mineral at 4mg per 100g.
It is also worth noting that Zinc is one of the nutrients that is present in significantly higher levels in organic food.
COVID Resistance: Zinc is highly supportive of your innate immune system. Ensuring that you have adequate levels of Zinc may prevent you from catching the virus, or even if you do, prevent viral loads from reaching enough levels to manifest in symptoms.