Zinc is a mineral that our bodies require in order to function properly. It aids in the development and growth of cells, bones, muscles, and the reproductive system. It also aids in wound healing.
Zinc is required by the body to process many nutrients, including protein, vitamin A, carbohydrates, and other foods.
Importance of zinc for children
Zinc for kids aids in the growth of tissues and muscles, which is especially important when your children are changing so rapidly due to puberty. This is why it is critical to provide zinc-rich diets or zinc supplements to children as they grow.
Zinc intake for a child per day
RDA recommends zinc varies according to the child’s age. Because the body absorbs and requires different amounts of zinc during puberty, there are different RDAs for boys and girls. Here are some rough RDA levels:
|0-6 months||2 mg/day|
|7-12 months||3 mg/day|
|1-3 years||4 mg/day|
|4–8 years||5 mg/day|
|9-13 years old||8 mg/day|
|14 years and older, including pregnant and breastfeeding women||11mg per day|
* Zinc supplements should only be taken after consulting with a doctor or a health professional. The amount given will be determined by your child’s age, weight, gender, medical condition, diet plan, and other variables.
Here are zinc benefits
Blood sugar management: Zinc aids in the maintenance of blood sugar levels by supporting the action of insulin, which removes excess glucose from the bloodstream to be used as fuel for energy. Zinc also promotes the release of the hormone ghrelin, which causes hunger and appetite. It may appear counter-intuitive that mineral-like zinc can help reduce sugar cravings, but it is undeniably true.
Cardiovascular health: People who have low zinc levels are at a much higher risk of developing coronary artery disease. Zinc reduces platelet stickiness, which helps to prevent blood clots. It may also be beneficial.
Immune function: Zinc is necessary for immune function. Natural killer cells are white blood cells that recognize and destroy foreign or abnormal cells in the body, thereby aiding in infection prevention. Zinc stimulates the activity of these cells. It also aids in other immune functions such as antibody production, cell growth, wound healing, bacterial resistance, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.
Growth: Zinc intake that is adequate contributes to normal growth patterns in children. It may help children with type 1 diabetes mellitus control their blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion, which can lead to weight gain.
The formation of cartilage and bone: Zinc stimulates osteoblast cells in the body, which aid in the formation of new bones. It also aids in the formation of collagen, which is necessary for healthy bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Vision: Zinc is necessary for good vision because it maintains the normal structure of the lens and retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of your eye). The retina converts light into nerve signals that are transmitted to the brain, resulting in vision. Zinc also helps to maintain tear production and protects eye cells from oxidative damage.
Thyroid: Thyroid hormones are partially synthesized from iodine and tyrosine, an amino acid derived from protein. Thyroid hormone levels in children can be affected by zinc deficiency.
Brain development: Zinc deficiency can impair brain function because it is involved in nerve sheath formation and brain signaling processes. Zinc also aids memory and concentration. It is especially important during adolescence when new neural pathways form and more complex mental processing occurs.
Hair and skincare: Because zinc promotes cell division, it is essential for healthy hair, nails, teeth, bones, muscles, joints, blood vessels, cells lining your mouth, and intestines. It also aids in wound healing.
Healing of minor wounds: Zinc is necessary for tissue building and repair following a cut, so it helps to heal.
Antioxidant properties: Zinc is a free radical neutralizer. It aids in the prevention of oxidative stress, which contributes to cellular damage and the development of several chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and cataracts.
What are some good zinc sources for children?
Zinc is found in the highest concentrations in oysters, but it is also found in whole grains, cereals, beans, nuts, cheese, seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts, fish, meat poultry, mushrooms, etc.
Zinc can benefit children in a variety of ways. By increasing insulin secretion, they feel more energized and less hungry, which aids in weight loss. Increase intake of zinc in your diet as well as in the diet of your child.